Depth of Pain = Depth of Pleasure – The Double Bind (and Double Opportunity) of Emotional Repression
One of the reasons why people find it such a challenge to keep up a daily meditation practice is that it starts to reveal to them painful emotions that lie repressed within them that frankly they would rather remain repressed and forgotten. The process of meditation itself causes a release of the “knots” in the mind that hold the pain that we have repressed down, and this “untying” gives us access to self-knowledge that frankly we might rather we did not have!
However, there is both a carrot and a stick that we can use to encourage us to face our painful emotions with courage:
The stick is this - Whenever we repress or cut ourself off from a deeply felt painful emotion, we also cut ourself off from the entire deep emotional level on which that emotion is based. Because we cut ourself off from an entire level of deep emotional feeling, we deny ourself not only the painful feelings on that level, but also the pleasurable feelings on that level. So, if we habitually repress negative emotions, we find that we are also no longer sensitive or receptive to deeply felt pleasurable emotions that make life worth living!
The carrot is this – Whenever we find the courage and self-compassion to reach out to and re-integrate painful repressed emotion within us, as we do so we simultaneously re-awaken a level of emotion within us that is open to deep pleasure, appreciation, joy, sensuality, rapture, hilarity and so on.
One of the most common challenges that people whom I do 1:1 coaching with talk about with me is how they feel cut off from life, they feel emotionally dis-engaged from a world that they feel they should be appreciating, connecting with and enjoying much more. Accordingly, much of the main work that I do with individuals as well as teaching them meditation is to seek out the painful emotions that they most often repress, and bring them back in a benign way into the light of their conscious awareness for healing. When this is done, very often they find that because they are no longer repressing emotions that they are afraid of, they suddenly find that the range of positive emotions that become re-sensitized to is quite remarkable. They become “alive to life” once more”.
Facing up to difficult and challenging emotions in ourself takes courage, but if you are a “spiritual hedonist” like me, and want to reclaim your right to daily emotional depth of pleasure, aliveness, spontaneity and positivity, then you know that the courageous effort is always rewarded in a worthwhile manner!
And finally, once you are used to positively confronting tough emotions, meditating everyday feels no longer so much like a discipline as a pleasure.
The above post requires repeated reading to understand and implement.One may start with any method.If we continue reading the above method,we will understand the rationale of meditating and relief from pain.
what dalubaba is sharing is very difficult to understand for most who have not been on a serious spiritual quest for some time. However, any start or beginning on this meditative path will immediately benefit the practitioner. At every step there is the "carrot" always balanced it seems with the "stick". Like as high as you go up on the see-say or is it teeter-totter (a laugh in a name) depends on how low you go and how hard you bounce back up!.Seems to be a law of something.
This can be seen as a practice of the Tantric path (not as much about sex as folks think) where all is included--even the seemingly negative stuff. This is pretty deep (get out the shovel!) and not entirely necessary for most of us. Just the breathing with positive focus and relaxation will work wonderfully for most of us.
Please Dalubaba keep posting these gifts as we all benefit just from the little we understand of it---at least that is true for me. Anybody else find relief with their spiritual tools? om yogadon
I reread what you wrote a few times. It IS so hard to even start to face the unpleasant prts of our life, especially when we are in pain. I find that music can bring me to place that actuaally helps the pain, and may remind me of both painful periods, but good ones too. I Do find it hard to clear my mind, and even BEGIN to think, Is there a way to START, for someone who has always been told..."You are so stressed and can't relax!. the thought of something like a massage, which my Pain Management Doctor thought would help me, BECAUSE it helped him, made me PANIC! Then my Dr. said," well, I don't know, you are so knotted up, I have NEVER seen anyone so tight!" and he is right, but how do I change what I have been like for almost 57 years?!
the breath is very easy to use as it is our constant compnion in life. Very gently smooth out your rhythm and focus on the feel of breath brushing at the tip of your nose--tactile sensation. As you like music put a slow meditative selection on (no words or lyrics) and say the word relax with an exhale---nothing forceful-- and on inhale say (not out loud) refresh and imagine the feeling of refreshment--new energy--just imagine it at first. Now don't really change the breath just even it out. It will change on its own as you practice. Try for 10 min. or so to begin and then try longer if you like. Just try this and post back as to how it works or what happens. Heck--everybody try this and see. Seems so simple---yet works very powerfully to help us focus and Relax the tension. Especially on exhale---just let everything go--just for a moment. And See. om yogadon
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