We Need to Learn to Live With Our Crazy Roommates!

Nov 18, 2019


Dear Robina,

I hope all is going well with you.

I’ve had this chronic issues since I was a little kid: painful romantic delusions. I recently watched your teachings on karma, emptiness and attachment online and realized that this painful attachment is a result of karma from previously lives that have been reinforced through habitual lies that I’ve believed to be true.

I consistently want a romantic relationship with someone that is obviously not interested in me. Then I believe that I’m not worthy of being in a relationship while the world around is me has no problem finding love.

This problem is so embarrassing for me to admit, but I feel I need to address it before it gets worse. It’s been taking me off the path. Although this problem seems comical, the thoughts have been torturous.

The problem is not the object of my romantic attachment, but rather my ego. It’s been a painful realization this past two months because I thought this problem was long gone but then resurfaced. Because I wake up feeling lost, I have a hard time engaging in my morning practice of taking refuge (however doing water bowls have been consistent).

I currently find myself extremely attached to someone I’ve know for two years, who shows no interest in me, is very self-absorbed and aloof. By analyzing my past habits, I understand that the problem is not necessarily him (although he serves as a trigger), and if it’s not him, it would be someone else. I using this situation as Dharma practice and wish him loving kindness rather than feel aversion.

To get rid of this affliction, I’ve been contemplating on the unattractiveness of my object of attachment, impermanence, reciting the Vajrasattva mantra, meditating on loving kindness to everyone around me, and not engaging in contact with him.

Is there any other recommendation or do you have insights into my issue? Any words of wisdom is much appreciated.





Dearest N,

You understand what’s going on perfectly! Yes, it’s boring old habit, that’s all. Easy to say! So painful. And for everyone, just everyone, every single human on this planet, it’s the same: the only thing that’s different is the object, the action.

So, sweetheart, the first step is to recognise it, which you do. And then to keep moving, keep practicing.

The key thing is to try to not identify oneself with it. Which of course we do: it looms hugely in our minds, dominating us, right?

So we need to practice hearing all the crazy thoughts, all the stories, and learn to live with them. That’s why I like to use that analogy of roommates. It’s good. We have thousands of roommates in our heads: all our thoughts. We need to develop the intelligence to discriminate between the crazies and the good ones. That, really, in essence, is Dharma.

Our trouble is, we can’t stand  these thoughts and we wish desperately that they’d go away. 

Instead we have to greet them, welcome them, stop having aversion for them – just like you would have to do with the crazy roommates next door, let’s say, who shout and yell and make life miserable. We have no choice. They’re old, deep habits.

So, be brave, N. See them, hear them, but don’t buy into them. Don’t identify them as you. This is so so so important.

Recognise all your good roommates: your kindness, your intelligence, your wish to be a better person, etc. etc. etc.

Already, what you’re doing is great. Keep doing it! But the biggest one is not to expect the thoughts, the feelings, to all go away. It really does take time. That’s why we need the practice of greeting them, welcoming them, not wishing they’d go away. that’s a wrong expectation.

Do you do any deity practices? Identifying with being Tara, for example, is so beneficial.

Much love,




Hi Robina.

Thanks for all your responses to my emails. I was doing very well with acknowledging my attachments, now I’m facing when of my darkest roommates, fear of abandonment. I’ve been watching your teachings on YouTube, especially in regards to karma and attachments, and the suffering of change.

I noticed huge improvements in my way of thinking, but then I learned this week that my mother is very ill. Although my attachment was diminishing, it came back, and stronger.

I was compelled to contact the object of my attachment, who is in a depressed state of mind and he told me he’s not interested in a relationship and is planning to move to Washington. From your teachings, I realized that I can’t change anyone’s minds but mine.

These events have made me realized my fear of abandonment is stronger than I thought and that there’s work and healing that needs to be done. I’m also feeling additionally down because I’m changing jobs and my roommate is planning to move out.

I know this practice take persistence, courage, and patience to triumph these negative emotions. But now I find myself spiraling downward as I’m facing theses changes.

I remember you mentioned that we have the tendency to run to people to vomit our problems when we feel this way because we can’t stand to be alone with our thoughts. At this point I do want to run to someone and do that, but I lack friends I can spiritually connect to and the friends I have now don’t fully understand. My family are all hours away from me and so is my mother.

I’m thinking of doing a Tara practice but need guidance. I’m really trying my best.





Happy to hear from you, dearest N.

I can hear that quite a lot is coming up for you. This is a good sign, actually, as I said when we met. You have to remember that. I know we don’t like to hear it, but it’s true.

For sure, we have fear of change. Attachment wants to stay in its comfort zone. 

Wonderful that you want to be with and help your mother. She needs you now, for sure.

Tara is a good practice, for sure. I can send you an audio file of a guided meditation; would you like that? Do you have a printed version?

You are doing your best. Remember that, try to rejoice, try to remember the good things.

Much love,


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