Trust in the Process

One of the more difficult aspects of training in the Da Xuan tradition, especially for beginners, is the idea that we want to be oriented towards the process rather than towards the results of the process. When you get into the training deeply enough, you start to realize that the results of the training are never quite what you imagined they would be before they arrived. We tend to project ideas of what it might be like to be relaxed or stronger or have a good feeling of circulation. Even worse is when we step into esoteric territory and things get more fantastic, our ideas of energy or enlightenment or perfection or whatever never end up being anything close to what the actual experience is like (in my experience, they are usually far more mundane and simple than we expect, in a good way).

These ideas that we project not only use an incredible amount of our energy to maintain, but they also often prevent the actual result from appearing or conceal it. By turning ourselves towards tending to the process rather than tending to the results of the process, we leave room for the results to be different to what we expect. The unexpected results, in my experience, are always the more interesting ones! The more you get into operating like this, the less you are inclined to spend your time predicting what might come. I’ve had many occasions where the result had already actually appeared, but I was so convinced by my prediction that it must appear in some other way, that I had missed the fact that it was already there and therefore had lost many opportunities to nurture the quality and help it grow even more.

The issue is that to have this orientation established effectively, we have to trust the process. Even as a beginner we can be so excited by the process and have a strong desire to be a good student, that we can tell ourselves we consciously trust the process. The unconscious, however, will still be unconvinced. It does not give a damn about any of the ideas we have about how much we trust the process and like it, it trusts the results. But the results are something received, not something that you actively go out and get, and they take time. So we must disregard them and focus on the process, not expecting transformation or progress, and simply practicing for the sake of practice itself. By turning all of our attention to the process, we can leave the results to arrive as they may, being happy with whatever we receive. Sooner or later, we become so trusting of the process and knowing that we’ve tended to it the best we can in that moment, that we can just relax about the whole thing, enjoying our life as it unfolds. And we can do it with a real and deep understanding that the relationship to the process can only improve and the results are left to arrive unencumbered. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to really trust the process without doing it. There are plenty of people out there who use this concept to dupe people into spending a lot of time and resources simply so they can make some money or have a feeling of power over others, and this makes taking leaps of faith to engage with this practice in this way all the more difficult. How can you be sure it’s not just another dupe? You can’t, and if you don’t feel that it’s the right thing for you to do then it’s best to not do it.