When I wrote my post, “12 Steps on the Buddhist Path,” I noted that as in all 12-step programs, it is of critical importance that an individual not just acknowledge the suffering caused by his cravings, emotions, and judgments and believe in the power of his true Buddha nature to bring him peace and happiness. He must also truly be ready and willing to let such cravings, etc. go. Otherwise, even if one makes a decision to turn it over to your true Buddha nature, it will not work because the decision has been a hollow one.
When I was in a 12-step program many years ago, I noted how there were so many people who came regularly, were committed to recovery, were well aware of the suffering caused by their addiction, and yet at most they could manage to get only a few days of sobriety together in a row. Why? What was preventing them from working the program with greater success?
The conclusion I came to was that they had not hit rock bottom with their addiction as I had, and so despite their knowledge and faith, they were not ready and willing to let it go. That’s how powerful an addiction is, or indeed any strong emotion, judgment, or attachment of our ego-mind.
The question I’m raising is the same as the one raised in my post, “Do You Really Want to Be at Peace and Content?” That post noted that the teaching is very clear that if one wants to be at peace and happy, then one has to find a way to be free of one’s cravings and emotions, and to accept, nay embrace, that things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is. But many are not ready to let go, are not ready to accept, and so they push back and their suffering continues, regardless how much they meditate, believe in the teachings, etc.
As for how one becomes ready and willing, there is no method, no path. Once you have acknowledged the suffering caused by your emotions, judgment, or attachments, you know that letting them go is in your best interest. It’s also important to know that these are just a product of your mind, your learned experience, not your true self. The situations you react to with your emotions, judgements, and attachments are real, but how you react to them are learned experience. So you have all the awareness and knowledge necessary. It then becomes a function of the supremacy of your spiritual self, your true Buddha nature, v your ego-mind. You simple must be strong enough to act in your own best interest. The only answer to the question, “how,” is “just do it!”