A great spiritual teacher gave me an exercise I could not do because of where I live. There’s more value in doing the exercise, but there’s value in just knowing what it is, too.
A warning before we proceed: this is not “the truth.” It’s a perspective–a very useful perspective–but it’s not gospel. So do the exercise, and get whatever you get from it, and then let it be something you read and maybe did, because that’s all it will be.
Do this alone.
On a clear night, go to the mountains. If there are no mountains, go to a beach. If there’s no beach, go out in a field. Go somewhere that you can see the stars. (Where I live, it would take 16 hours driving at freeway speeds to get away from the light pollution.)
Look up at the stars, make eye contact, make sure they’re listening, and tell them everything you think (“I think…”) and everything you don’t think (“I don’t think…”). Everything that should be some way other than the way it is, something that went wrong or is wrong, someone who is wrong in some way, or has wronged you in some way, or some way in which you’re wrong. Every complaint you have. Oh, and be sure to include all the things people think about you. All the ways they think you shouldn’t be, and the things they think you shouldn’t do, or should do but don’t, or shouldn’t have done, or any way you should be but you aren’t. Keep looking at the stars, keep talking to them, and don’t stop until you’ve said it all.
Take your time. Make sure you get everything. Don’t hold back; scream if you have to. (Distance from civilization is helpful.) And when you’re done, watch the stars, and behold the profound indifference with which the Universe holds your opinion. It gives zero shits about what you think.
Fuck, your opinion can’t even heat up a cup of coffee.
Am I wrong? Did the stars move? Did you change their mind? Did you make yourself some tea with your yelling?
Your. Opinion. Doesn’t. Matter.
And neither does anyone else’s.
Now knock it off with the judgment.