For more information, contact:
Gary Schouborg, PhD
Schouborg, Gary (1999).
"Mindfulness Doesn't Give Answers"
(published as "It Ain't Whatcha Do, It's the Way Thatcha Do It").
Inquiring Mind, 15(2), 47.
Mindfulness Doesn't Give Answers
(published under the title, "It Ain't Whatcha Do, It's the Way Thatcha Do It")
As with her other articles, Barbara Gates' latest, "Consider Yourself One of the Family", had an honesty that made it a sharing from the heart and not mere sentimentality. What I found particularly attractive was her refusal to give easy, politically correct answers to the hard questions she poses.
I believe spiritual openness has to do with process rather than content. It provides no answers; it only works to promote honesty in the hard intellectual work of formulating questions and producing the best answers possible.
When Buddhists, or any other spiritually-minded individuals, confuse process and content, they tend to give oversimplified answers to complex questions.
The immediacy of enlightenment is the immediacy of process, not of content. To think otherwise is to believe that international relations (complex and emotionally remote) are to be modeled on personal relations (relatively simpler and emotionally immediate), or that complex ecological issues are to be modeled on individual moments of rapport with nature. Rather, in dealing with issues that are intellectually complex and emotionally remote, our sense of immediacy must come from our attention to our inner process of inquiry, rather than from any content. The enlightened have nothing to tell us about politics or ecology absent the hard intellectual work of analysis and empirical inquiry. They do, however, guide us in being honest with that inquiry in a way that is both productive and personally gratifying.
Walnut Creek, California