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The Art of Non-Resistance

Buddhists talk about transcendence, athletes try to explain being in the zone, musicians and scientists claim that there is this thing that is called flow. Eastern philosophers will call it nothingness, while Christians say it is the Holy Spirit. All these practitioners know that there is a higher energy that can be reached which enables peak creativity and performance, a place where the mind and the body elicit no struggle. In these moments, they are all practicing the art of non-resistance.

Carl Jung's words, "What you resist persists", have been repeated time and again, yet this lesson is not learned until you have gone outside of your head and let the deeper energy flow. Andy Warhol pointed out the irony in that, "As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it". It is the act of possessiveness that limits us from the possibilities of letting nature work its magic.

Now this all sounds a little wishy-washy, but let's take a look at three obstacles that diminish when we use the art of non-resistance.


Eckhart Tolle refers to the pain body, a product of the body's real ailments augmented by the mind's intent on reducing the pain. Next time you have discomfort, be aware and succumb to it; notice that if you are able to feel the pain from outside of your body, it dissipates. The more you fight against discomfort, the more irritating it becomes. The more aware you are of the pain without reacting emotionally to it, the less it becomes.


We all know how vicious worry loops can become and how disasters which have a very small chance of occuring will dominate our thoughts and put us in a paralyzed state of fear. In Lost, the TV series, Jack (the doctor) explained the strategy of taking whatever your fear or worry is and allowing yourself to be absorbed with it fully for ten seconds, and then let it fade. This can work sometimes, but here are a couple of other strategies.

a. Understand that ten years from now, your worries will seem completely insignificant. We often make things much bigger and malevolent than they really are.

b. Don't allow yourself to worry about things that you cannot control. This is the true test of non-resistance. Nature has its ways, and your resistance to it will only leave you worse for wear.


Anxiety has plagued many individuals at least once in their lifetime, while leaving others dependent on medication to quell the inner turmoil. While anxiety has so many faces and is affected by a number of factors, I think that non-resistance can help with anxiety. If it is test anxiety, living in that dreaded moment will calm your nerves. Social anxiety is less crushing if you get lost in the energy of the crowd. Existential anxiety has less of a grip if you allow yourself to lean towards things that interest you. Non-resistance allows the true self to come through.

In the end, it is your attitude that matters. Master the art of non-resistance and you will be seemingly more calm, fearless and happy.

Ask yourself, what is important? Understand that your reality is nothing more than what you've thought up in your head.

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