Zen Teacher Agrees: “Positive Thinking” Sucks

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Zen Teacher Agrees: “Positive Thinking” Sucks

Osho curration

As I’ve talked about before, I don’t teach clients to “think positive” because too often what that translates to is repressing your real feelings – lying to yourself and others – rather than actually dealing with what’s going on. A late, Indian spirtual teacher, Osho, agrees and “Ideapod Blog” published a great piece on his thoughts on positive thinking that goes along very well with FEARLESS teachings.

I have to guide clients in undoing their addiction to positive thinking all the time. When taken to an extreme, people can get to the point of seeming crazy – sporting fake smiles with tonality, words, and a vibe that seems inauthentic or just “off.” At lesser degrees, you may be telling yourself that life (or one part of life or even one particular experience) is good…and maybe you think you “should” be more appreciative of _____, but deep down, you really don’t feel that way.

It’s hard to make real progress or feel generally fulfilled in life if you’re pushing things down and lying to yourself.

As Osho says in the piece linked below, “the negative ideas of your mind have to be released, not repressed.” You need to first allow yourself to feel how you feel – to remove resistance to your true emotions, feelings, and thoughts – in your body. And then ask your body if you can let any of that go. Even 1%.

The answer at first may be “no,” and you need to be honest with yourself about that, too. When you do get yesses to 1% – or even fractions of 1% – you can sit in appreciation of that progress. Again though, you have to really feel it and be honest with yourself. Then, can you let a little bit more go? And more? And more?

This is what David Hawkins’ “Letting Go” and the various feeling and allowing/releasing methods I teach, draw from, and continually experiment with myself are all about.

Repressing things and lying to yourself won’t get you real fulfillment – or results you’re really after in any area – , and it eventually leads to outbursts of what’s being repressed. It’s part of why men with nice guy syndrome often seem so inauthentic and are so angry at women and others underneath the surface. If you find yourself boiling over and having emotional breakdowns or in a rage every once in a while, you’re almost certainly repressing things.

In terms of Osho’s criticism of Napoleon Hill in the piece, “Think and Grow Rich” has definite value in findings such as the fact that all the millionaires he interviewed and studied share the ability to make decisions quickly and change their minds slowly, if ever at all. But Osho is also right that it was not positive thinking that made Hill – or the subjects of his book – successful.

The “Ideapod Blog” article is an easy, quick, must-read. Check it out here.

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