Have you noticed that the same nerve endings in in your skin sense texture that is soft or abrasive? It’s like the “nerve endings in mind”, but instead of just feeling texture we tend to tell a story about it. The minute you describe a feeling you abandon it, you miss your opportunity to see what it really is. Sit down and prioritize the awareness, the space in which things occur. If you look at the space you realize you can’t see space, but you change your allegiance from what occurs to the space itself.
Whatever arises, don’t blame. If you find someone in front of you who is judging you or giving you a hard time, if you’re really present, you see that they are doing it because of their own suffering. You see the fundamental situation that everything is dependently arisen. There is no one to blame.
Your spiritual friend, or “companion in the virtue” (kalyanamitra in Sanskrit), if truly realized will meet you right where you are to help you on your path of awakening.
Xenophobia is fear of the unknown. Sometimes we add a story about something or someone to cover up that fear. You can’t conceptualize yourself out of the depths of your fears, that’s why we sit down and look more deeply into what we are covering up. Fear can be overwhelming, so have some respect for those who are suffering with xenophobia.
When you put a label on something, call it depression or anxiety, for example, you may be covering up the very thing you need to look at. Sokuzan says you don’t have to stop the labeling. Then how do you see what it is covering up? Here Sokuzan answers questions about how to work with body and mind during the practice of meditation.