Decide. Check. Observe. Confront. Persevere. Improve!

by | Nov 21, 2020 | Clear Light

We tend to defend the ego a lot. If we are not aware of this process, if we do not check it, then, we are going to keep fooling ourselves and stay foolish. Eventually, we are going to suffer.

Why?  Because we are unhappy. Deep down we are unhappy. We know that there are some things that we have not confronted.  That is why it is so dangerous not to confront these issues.  Then, you take refuge in something to avoid confronting it.

There are so many examples. So many examples.  You can take refuge in lots of things.

Some people take refuge in alcohol. Some people take refuge in relationships. Other people take refuge in spiritualism, or religion, or the guru. Or there are even materialists who take refuge in, you know, like… their car or their house.  Or people take refuge in a kind of like… just projecting this perfect life… having a perfect family…a perfect this…a perfect that.

I mean, we are creating the cause to be disappointed.  We are.

When we take refuge in these external things, we are setting ourselves up for problems.  We know it.

That is why I say we are not chasing the right things… We are chasing happiness the wrong way.

The worst part of it is we know it.  We know it is the wrong way. We do know that true happiness can only come from within. Right?

I mean, nobody can teach you anything unless you learn. Right?  It is a little bit like the fact that you cannot teach a baby to walk. They must experience that process Do you understand? They learn through making mistakes like falling. 

Many times, when my son was starting to walk on four legs, for example, he did not know how to do it, yet. So, I would do it in front of him. I would, you know, walk on four legs in front of him as an example. He would be like, “Oh, wow!  That is practical. Hey!” So, he would start trying to do it. 

Until he saw me doing it, he did not get it… He would like to drag himself kind of like…That putting the knees on the floor and walking with four legs like a gorilla or something, he did not yet come up with that. He would have, probably… eventually, but I sped it up for him. Do you know? So, I started walking around like that. “Hey, look, it is possible!” 

So, he is like” Oh! Wow! Ok!” So, he started doing it, too. What I am saying is I could not teach him. He had to learn. That is my point.

We are the ones that must walk our path. We are the ones who must make the effort. We are the ones who must be disciplined with ourselves.  We are the ones who must put the limit.  We are the ones who must stop fooling ourselves. We must save ourselves from ourselves. basically.

I mean, that is the whole point. That is the whole danger. We, you, and me individually, are the ones responsible to take ourselves down to the lower realms or devolve. We are the ones responsible to evolve and go to the pure realms and be freed from Samsara if you believe in that.

It is a concept, right? The concept is talking about how to improve your life. I think we will all agree on that. We can all relate to that, also.

So, that is where we are going to start. How to improve your life.

So, the first step is to check, to observe. If you do not check, if you do not observe, then, you are not confronting.   You are just bypassing… You are taking refuge in different things that will always disappoint you… You will always have to come back to that eventually. You will always have to confront yourself one day.  At one point, you will have to do it. 

So, it is important to start as soon as possible. It is not something bad. It is not something dangerous. It is amazingly easy. It is incredibly beautiful.

That is beauty.  The beauty is within us. We all have that beauty.

You know, if you think about it, for example, metaphorically speaking, life is full of messages. For example, let us take a lotus flower. What is a lotus flower saying?  The lotus flower is saying no matter what difficulties you have gone through… no matter how dark your life has been or how… dire, even if it has been really bad, and difficult, you can be like the lotus flower.

If you check the origin of the lotus, you will see it is mud.  The lotus starts in bad smelling, dirty mud. This is how we see it from our perspective. At least that is what we project on it. I mean, you would not want to swim in that or eat it even though maybe the buffaloes love it. That is their perspective, right?

Life is all about perspectives. That is the thing, you see. The flower comes from the most disgusting smell and the most disgusting appearance…

Boom! suddenly, a flower comes up with the most delicious smell like perfume. Then, there is the beauty of it… It is so beautiful.

Again, it is perception. It is an example. Ok? It is just an example of life that shows us things.

If you look at tribes, for example, many of the dances, many of their dresses are based on animals or plants. You must have seen that. They get an example from nature. 

That is something we are, also, losing touch with. Right? We are losing touch with that… with growing…   We are out of sync with planting… growing, and just walking barefoot and really, so many natural things.

I mean… FPMT style was hippies, right? We are kind of hippies.  We are! I mean, my parents were super-hippies.

I discovered the word hippie started with the journalist who called them, “Hippers.” That means somebody, people who move their hips a lot. So, from Hipper came the word. “Hippie”. So basically, we know how to move our hips!  I think we are hippies.  What do you think?   

I mean, inside, we have that part. We have everything. We have the female and the male within us. We are part of everything. An aspect of everything is in us.  We are in everything kind of in our life. I mean of course, when you put it in words, it is difficult to understand, but yeah., we have it all.  Ok?   

We have the infinite potential of enlightenment. Yeah, we do but you must decide this is what you want.  Then, you must check.  You must observe. You must start confronting what you do not want to confront and persevere so that you can improve.

Decide. Check. Observe. Confront. Persevere.  Improve.


  1. Rosalyn Williams

    Dear Osel La
    I found that talk incredible
    for me. I agree with every word you say which seems like I am taking the easy way out.
    Of course I am just a learner trying out my ice skates but more than that
    relationships with men have always frightened me or scary should I say.
    But I like men friends .But you might not believe me but for the first time in my life I have space to grow .
    Ok I might have hardships like a few days ago I was waking up every hour but it’s okay now.
    I live on my own, I am responsible for myself, I am enjoying experiencing life whatever it is and am happy that I have the opportunity.
    A bit of regret that I am not able to liberate anyone from samsara but maybe that comes next life.

  2. Andy Wistreich

    I really liked the example of how you taught Norbu to walk on four legs, by showing him you can do it, then he has something to aspire to, but, as you say, the learning takes place within him. You can’t show him that part. I think this is how we learn everything, not just us humans, but al life forms. So, really you are talking about learning, and education should be about learning, not indoctrination etc. The learner herself or himself has to be at the centre of the process. That process is a kind of struggle, like the struggle of plants for the light. Life is a sort of struggle, but it can be exhausting or a joy. When little children learn, yes, they get tired, especially by the end of the day, but when they are learning, they are enjoying it so much. If only we could acknowledge that throughout education at school.

  3. Margaret Bachtler

    We are what we are due to our own creation. I, for one, have a strong desire to exit samsara. Refuge in Dharma puts us on the path to enlightenment. Decide, check, observe, confront, persevere, improve.

  4. Samadhi Metta Bexar

    Thank you for this and the wonderful words elsewhere. I’ll keep those last 6 words in mind as I work through “interesting times” 🙂

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