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The Obstacle is the Path

A famous Zen proverb reads, "the obstacle is the path," but most learn the opposite – 'the obstacle is the problem.'


He or she ends up spending massive amounts of energy wanting the obstacle to go away, which is an act of resistance, and any time we resist the obstacle, it will persist.

We may escape through avoidance, denial, manipulation, blaming, future thinking, and a whole slew of non-acceptance, but it's only temporary. When we try to avoid the obstacle, we keep it; it's that simple. Reality cannot be avoided. A great example is COVID-19. We can deny all we want, with this and that. The only path out is facing the obstacle.


My greatest obstacle was my addiction. I resisted it like the plaque, and so I continued to relapse. Eventually, I stopped resisting and learned to lean into my obstacle, not resist. By accepting my obstacles I was better able to find the root causes, and began to work on the solution. But make no mistake; I needed others to help me with the blind spots.

Over time, my whole idea about obstacles began to change, and today I see all obstacles as a path to freedom, and it all starts with “the full acceptance of what is.” When I am fully present, I can easily see why I suffer and what action is needed to come out on the other side.

My so-called obstacle gave me my two greatest gifts— I recovered and know my true essence of love, peace, and joy.

Stop trying to avoid obstacles; my friends, lean into them with acceptance and love. By love, I don't mean to give them free rein, I mean seeing them as the great teacher they are. Obstacles do not block the path; they are the path.

Affirmation: I am open and ready to lean into all obstacles with acceptance and love, knowing they are the path to the expansion of my awakened consciousness and so it IS!


Satnam Paul Noiles

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