Are your habits hurting you?

Similarly, no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins and will spill out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 

Luke 5:37&38 

Dear members and friends, 

In The Variety of Religious Experiences, William James describes humans as “habitual animals.” What James meant is that humans develop a certain way of being, doing, and living during their lives. Consequently, people are often very resistant to changing any aspects of their habits. At times, even when people realize and acknowledge the fact that their habits are destructive to their lives, they still strongly resist changing the habits, because change is perceived as giving up stability and comfort in their lives. This reflects an aspect of human nature in which they tend to have attachments to what they hold in their hands, even if what is in their hands is hurting them. This is the very reason why all the enlightened teachers univocally emphasized that the ultimate enemy to overcome for humans is their own self. 

This reminds me of a story from Zen Speaks. Once there was a monk in training, but every time he was in the depths of his meditation, a big black spider would appear and disturb his calm. As this trouble continued, he decided to consult his master. After listening to him very carefully, his master advises, “Alright. Here is what you should do. Next time you meditate, prepare a brush and ink. When the spider appears, make a big circle on its belly.” So, the young monk followed the instruction of his master. After he came out of his next meditation, he searched for the big spider on whose belly he made a circle. But then, he found where the circle was. It was on his own belly! 

My brothers and sisters in God, let us be reminded of the fact that all messages from God, Creator, or Divine that we read, hear, and understand are delivered and actualized through humans. The pure and unchanging heart of God is always beyond any human compression. Let us take a moment of freedom from all that we know to be true, then just listen deeply into the core of our hearts. Hopefully, we may hear the voice of God arriving in our hearts in a way that fits our mind.   

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee