Let’s get the ball rolling with words from Pema Chodron…
“There is a teaching, a very advanced teaching which people always perk up when they hear which says, The more neurosis, the more wisdom. People like this because they know they have a lot of neurosis. But no one can really understand this at first hearing because it doesn’t ever feel like ‘the more neurosis, the more wisdom.’ It actually feels like ‘the more neurosis, the more despair.’ But what I have found in working with this is that if you are all caught up and it occurs to you to just open, there is so much energy which is available to wake up —there is so much more energy available at this time.
Often you feel that you cannot let go. But if you have the courage to just experiment with abruptly opening at this time, there is enormous ability to have the mind open completely because there is so much energy. Of course the energy is pregnant with wanting to close right back down into the discursiveness or the mood that you are in. But you do get ‘the most for your money,’ the most for your moment at this time when you are all caught up. You get the most for your instant —you are propelled further than you would otherwise go on the energy which pushes you further. The hardest time to do this practice is also the most powerful time to do the practice.”
This is it, the reason why psychotherapy “works” when it does, when people are ready to harness that energy that brought them to the point of seeking a change, a different way from their old stand-bys. Pema is saying that at some point you have enough problems or a big enough problem that gives you enough motivation. The gift is actually the problem, because before then we were just getting by, suffering perhaps or just coping. That small hole in the boat becomes a large enough hole that forces us to fix the boat, get a new boat, or maybe learn to swim.