This is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Jan Becker at Against The Stream, Noah Levine’s place on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
Goalless practice is a koan. All the thinking mind can do with the idea is create an endless feedback loop. The goal of the practice is to have no goal, but “having no goal” is also a goal, so how can I have a goal that’s no goal, but how can I have goalless practice without knowing that the goal of practice is to be without a goal…? And on and on and on.
Trust me, kids, I’ve been down this loop a bazillion times. There is no way out of it. Nothing your rational brain can come up with can ever break out of this box.
The only solution is to step completely aside. Allow your goals to be as they are and press on. Leave your goal seeking mind yammering away the way it always does and just sit with that.
Saying the rational brain can’t break the loop does not mean that you have to go into irrationality or become illogical. The goalless state is very rational in the sense that it is very orderly and serene. But the rational part of the brain cannot grasp it. That’s just the way it is.
Anyhow, there’ll be more interviews like this coming soon.