Stop the World, I Want to Get Off (Regina Sara Ryan)

Western Baul Podcast Series

Aug 11 2022 • 58 mins

Many of us feel that we want to stop the world and get off given the suffering that we see all around. But without conflict and adversity, how would we have the opportunity to practice compassion? And where would we go if we got off? There is the implication that there is a place to go away from “what is.” It’s useful to look at our escape fantasies. While resistance is sometimes demonized on the path, it is a normal part of life. What is the world that we want to stop? We are in and out of worlds of our own creation all day long. The question on the spiritual path is about stopping the world-making mind. Our worlds can be about overwhelm, “never enough,” taking things personally, giving our power away, being a victim, or renewal and new beginnings. We want to get off the world in times of great suffering. There is no way to avoid making our worlds. Responsibility comes into play when we see how we are creating them. It can be useful to stop, step away and take a whole new perspective on our worlds. Sometimes getting off is what we need to be with the unknown. Some types of shock (falling in love, the death of a loved one) can stop the world and be used either for or against growth. We can stop the world with breath, putting attention on the sensations of the body in the present, or saying the name of God. As soon as we notice a hook, we have identified with a self and a world we’re creating. Since this is the world we are in, we can choose to be here. Self-absorption is never the source of real happiness. Why have we come to earth? To love, serve, and remember. Regina is the editor of Hohm Press, a workshop leader, retreat guide, and author of The Woman Awake, Igniting the Inner Life, Praying Dangerously, Only God and other books.