A door without a lock. A door without a lock that appears to be locked — that gives the impression of being un-openable. This is the human situation. The door has no lock on it. But if you ask someone aching to be free of the mind and its mischief why they are not free, they will probably say the door to freedom is locked and they need to find the key.
Don’t try to find the key. Figure out why you’ve got yourself convinced there’s a lock.
Only, the door is not locked. Of course, if you think there is a lock on the door — then, well, there is. (Thinking makes it so.)
Some time ago I was walking to lunch with a friend, in a city unfamiliar to both of us. She had spotted a restaurant earlier that appealed to her. We walked there and she pushed on the door. It did not open. Oh darn, she said. I wonder why they’re closed. She pushed again, I guess thinking the door might be stuck. But no.
We were just starting to walk away, to look for a restaurant that was open, when someone inside came toward the door and pushed it open.
My friend (a spiritual seeker) looked at me and laughed at the metaphor. She thought the door was locked . . . so we could not, in fact, enter.
Lunch was delicious.
The thing is not to try to find the key to the locked door. The thing is to figure out why you have got yourself convinced there is a lock. But people spend their lives trying different keys: meditate, try this teacher, do yoga, try that teacher, repeat a mantra, memorize prayers, go back to the first teacher.
It’s never what it looks like it is. You can count on that much. The problem is the angle you are looking from. Or the eyes you are looking with. Or the lenses you are looking through.
There is no lock on the door. If you start by realizing you’ve got the wrong impression about there being a lock, then you can finally rest from looking for the key. Redirect your attention to exploring how you give yourself (constantly) the impression that there’s a lock on the door.
It gets better. When you wake up and the door you always thought was locked swings liquidly open, you sail through. If you think to turn around and look behind you, there is no door. Let alone a lock.