The Absence of Resolution

Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens if instead of trying to solve your problems all the time you simply try and experience them mindfully?  The article below explores this idea and practice.

Final reminder that the special offer on the online course ‘The six stages of love – romantic love as a path to healing and enlightenment‘ lasts until the evening of Thursday 19th Feb. Click on the link to find out more and listen to the free meditation….

In the spirit of the journey,


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The Absence of Resolution

To practice the absence of resolution is to temporarily stop seeking to resolve the issues that we face in our life, and instead sit with the emotions and thoughts that we are experiencing in the moment around these issues. We focus upon experiencing and witnessing them rather than trying to solve them.The aim of practising the absence of resolution is (amongst other things):

  • To make us inwardly stronger and at the same time more tender and sensitive to our life experience.
  • To learn how to sit with our experiences and feelings long enough to see them clearly and deeply without flinching or running away from what we see.
  • To feel more deeply and intimately in touch with life as it arises from moment to moment, thus improving the quality of our life.

Why we need to practice the absence of resolution
There is never a time when all our problems are solved;

  • If we are lonely we solve the challenges of being lonely by getting in a relationship, which in turn leads to the challenges of being in a relationship
  • If we are without a job we have the challenge of a lack of income, but if we get a job to solve this, then we suddenly find ourselves with the problem of a relative lack of freedom and of time scarcity
  • Getting away from temptation and excitement can lead to the  challenge of boringness and predictability

If we spend every moment of our life trying to solve our problems, no time is spent relaxing into and enjoying life as it is, imperfections and all.

How to practice the absence of resolution
Sit mindfully with a situation in your life where you can feel your anxiety calling you to come up with a solution NOW. Let go temporarily of trying to find a solution, focus instead on seeing and experiencing the feelings, thoughts and emotions that you have in and around your circumstances. Don’t try and solve anything, simply sit and be present with what you find.

How the absence of resolution helps you resolve your problems
Often in the rush to ‘solve’ our problems we fail to see clearly what it is that we are actually facing and experiencing. By temporarily stopping our ‘solving’ mind, and sitting with what we are actually experiencing, we start to see it more clearly. Because we see it more clearly, we can then start to see what really needs to be done in order to resolve it successfully in a balanced manner.
In this way practising the absence of resolution in the short term actually increases our capacity to find long term solutions to our problems.

Related article: The Absence of Reference Points

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 



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