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Meditation will hurt

imageIf you’re a seasoned yogi/HC meditator, by now you should be aware that meditation is not always the nice ride you thought it was. Maybe you’ve already traversed the deep meditative states known as jhanas and, after the blissful sensations they reveal, you still haven’t felt pain and tension. If this is the case, good.

If not, here’s my little contribution to the much needed written materials on how to deal with pain revealed by the practice of meditation. This is not a definite solution. It is just a list of conditions and circumstances that I’ve found to be the cause of physical pain.

Also, I am not speaking of injuries or other serious medical conditions. Those can only be dealt with proper medical treatment. I’m referring to the tension/pain that arises when we open up with our awareness and, if we work with it with right view, then it is liberated naturally. It seems to me that the tension felt in different places in the body, is not due to some underlying energy that decided to cause pain. In my opinion, based from experience, the headaches, jaw tension, the lump in your throat, pressure in the chest, back/neck/shoulders pain, between the eyes, saturation of  “electricity” in the stomach, and all the other unpleasant sensations that come up when meditating, are nothing more than mental intentions/orders/instructions/decrees/reactions/stubborn desires that have ran amok throughout the body.

So here’s a small list of such instances that I have found to cause pain when sitting.

Meditation will hurt when:

  • I want to control it.
  • I cling to an outcome that’s supposed to happen.
  • I continue to meditate when I know I’m supposed to be doing something else.
  • I cling to the conceptual characteristics of physical reality, like for instance: solidity, distance, and volume of my organs, bones, fluids, organic tissue, skin, etc.
  • I believe I am doing something wrong and I must correct it.
  • I believe I am someone, different from everybody else.
  • I cling stubbornly to the story of my life and who I am.
  • I fear losing reason.
  • I fear losing physical references.
  • I fear death.
  • I fear life.
  • I don’t sleep when I need to.
  • I don’t eat when I need to.

Meditation will not hurt when:

  • I lose control of it all.
  • I give up all preconceptions of what’s supposed to happen.
  • I stop doing sitting meditation when the time is right, and continue doing the chores I’m supposed to do.
  • I drop concepts of physical reality.
  • I quit trying to correct all “imperfections”.
  • I drop the “self” concept AND drop also the things I consider not to be “self”
  • I realize the story of my life is just another arbitrary conceptual construction and drop it.
  • I’m ok with losing reason and logic
  • I’m ok with losing all physical references.
  • I’m ok with living and dying.
  • I sleep when I need to, and I eat when I need to.

There’s more to it of course but, this will do to give you just a hint. I will also add that, in time, if you receive teachings and continue practice with appropriate moderation, the pain will subside.

Your dear friend impermanence

imageWhy is seeing or hearing a cascade soothing? Not just because its nice, but also because you’re resting your visual or auditive consciousness upon its impermanence.

Why is a massage soothing? Not just because it feels good, but also because you’re resting your mind upon the impermanence of tactile sensations.

Why is jumping in a pool soothing? Not just because water feels cool, but also because you’re forcing your attention to become impermanent through sudden refreshing sensations.

Same with the breath. Rest upon its impermanence as it inhales and exhales and you’ll soothe awareness to the point of easing fixations. And we don’t even think of breathing as a hedonist activity.

Why is resting your mind upon impermanence soothing? Because you cling to nothing. So go ahead, un-cling from phenomena.

Warning: you’ll also soothe your grip on your identity and this may be fun …or not. Depending on how much you love being you.

We’re all driving under the influence

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 20.15.09This may sound like bad news, and it could be bad news.

But that’s the way it goes sometimes, when things are seen as they truly are.

But this new piece of information can also be good news. It all depends on your willingness to be amazed by simple truth.

The dreadful fact is: We’re all driving under the influence, under the influence of our dreams.

But it’s ok to dream and live the dream, except when life doesn’t fit the scene we see.

This mismatch may be the source of all depression, of our loss of motivation. It could also be the reason why all days taste like bitter lectures.

But the cure is not to kill the dream, nor to ignore its vivid nature.

All we have to do is let it live all it wants, but also let it die as it is its nature.

And as for the life so distant from our dream, the same remedy can be applied: Let life live exactly as life is, and let death die, exactly as death is.

On slow motion violence

imageViolence can also happen in slow motion. All you have to do is stop moving while everything else keeps moving.

It is a blow to the stomach of space and time.

Of course, to feel the pain may take a while. You could spend weeks doing nothing, without seeing the injury that is forming minute by minute.

Next thing you know, the lack of motion has made it’s dent: cable tv is gone, the dental cavity has formed, the angry email from your boss has arrived or, my favorite, you suddenly realize you have not started that awesome project you keep talking about.

So yeah, absolute stillness is violence.

Even the Buddha took a hit before discovering the middle way.

So, in order to avoid this, all you have to do is move along. Move to the rhythm of everything else that’s moving around you.

To move is to love yourself and everyone else around you.