26 June 2015

How to Work through the Different Experiences of Discomfort in Meditation.


Ok, so let’s have a look at the sort of stuff that does come up to rock your boat when you’re meditating. The sort of thing where you’re concentrating, you’re working through the body and something comes up and before you know it you’re embroiled in it.

This kind of internal pain that is appearing that doesn’t appear to be as a result of any strain upon the body. So where is this coming from? This is the charge that you are holding in your body. As you start to build up your mindfulness, you start to become aware of different layers of blockages within you and what is oppressing you unconsciously. So for example, if you have this heavy energy in your chest, normally we are not consciously aware of it, but unconsciously it is affecting our mood, our attitude, how we feel. With enough mindfulness you become consciously aware of the energy you are holding and now you can watch how you feel about it. But can you see how it has actually been making you feel? This is what is key because it is not just an unpleasant physical feeling, if you really go deeply enough you’ll get a sense of what it has been doing to you at a mental and emotional level, this energy that you hold.

Now you have to go very deeply into this, it is all very well to say; “yes it’s impermanent, this is the arising of bad reactions in my memory, my feeling is one thing, my reaction to it is another” , but this is actually just a mechanical mental exercise. Instead you need to try and really embody what you feel because we have spent a lot of time trying to not feel it. Now it is possible to do your meditation for many, many, years believing you are very skilful and paying attention to what is going on in your body without recognising at all how you actually feel. So how do you really feel? The truth is you don’t know how you feel. You don’t know how you feel because you don’t allow yourself to feel it. And yet how you feel is driving you at every level. Whether it’s frustration, fear, worry, anxiety, resentment, we do not see how we are being driven by how we feel. It is the feeling that is driving the grief, fear, anxiety etc, not the fear that is driving the feeling. It is important to recognise this.

Some people do not have an over elaborate idea of themselves, there is more of a sense of immediacy to them. On the other hand, some people have a very elaborate idea of themselves, and are very wrapped up with themselves, or self absorbed. How wrapped up in ourselves we are, will express itself in how complicated and complex our array of responses are to what we actually experience. How much there is in the way between us and what we are experiencing? Normally of course we have no idea about how much there is there, we’re not aware of how complicated we have become and how entangled with those feelings we are and how driven by them we are. In some cases it can be a single thing right at the root of our being driving, nuancing, flavouring and texturing almost everything we do. We will always be hugely conditioned and driven by it until we see. Our whole world is defined by our attempts to justify our position. Do you understand what I mean by that? The way we see the world is our attempt to justify our position. And that position that we have taken is utterly conditioned by the feelings that we have had and the feelings that we are holding on to about certain things. So some people might think one thing is really important, other people might think another thing is really important and other people might think, “don’t be ridiculous, neither of those things are important.” And that bone that we gnaw on, the axe we grind, that we see as so fundamental to life, is not fundamental to life; it is just fundamental to us upholding our ideas of self. And the energy that we invest in it, is the energy that separates us from just being able to get on.

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2 Responses

  1. Wanda nascimento hiller

    Thank you Burgs! This is a great post and touches deeply in my soul. Just what I needed to read right now.

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