Monday, March 31, 2008
I just finished watching Echkart and Oprah talk about the pain body. The pain body is the storehouse of repressed pain within each of us. The thing that impacted me the most was the idea of allowing our emotions to be there when they arise. Not denying them, not wallowing in the story of them, but experiencing the energy of them so they can be released. Eckhart talked about creating space for our own emotions. Tara Brach in Radical Acceptance presents the idea of bringing compassion to ourselves when an emotion arises, "I care about your suffering". I think it is important to validate emotion. Like if I am scared or sad or mad to say to myself," I understand that you feel that way". I am learning to live my life with my emotions as a part of me. They don't define who I am and it doesn't make me a bad person to feel them. Feelings are feelings and thoughts are thoughts. If I don't resist and don't obsess I can have the experience I am having without judging myself or someone else. Easier said than done sometimes, yet very freeing when I can be mindful of what is going on and know that I am having a feeling or a thought instead of thinking I am that feeling or thought. Tonight I am feeling disappointed about my upcoming meditation retreat. I found out tonight that my favorite teacher of the four and the one who does the yoga will not be there. I also discovered that my information about everyone getting a small single dorm room to themselves wasn't correct. I will be sharing a room and there will be no yoga. My thoughts and emotions have ranged from fear and sadness and "How will I ever sit for so long now without yoga class and space to myself? Why did I ever think I wanted to do this? What was I thinking? This will be grueling." So, I put my hand over my heart and I say to myself, "I care about your suffering. I can understand that you would feel that way". I notice the tightness in my chest and breathe into it as a witness rather than a judge. I work with the voice that says," You could get out of this, but you would be such a wimp." I continue to breathe into my experience. The tightness subsides and a little bit of my excitement begins to surface. I will bring earplugs in case my roomate snores ( and hopefully she will too because I know that I snore.) I will do my own yoga. I will take care of myself and make my intention for this retreat to be mindful and compassionate with myself, regardless of how unacceptable I am drawn to deem my experience to be. I will create space for all of it even the the act of not being skillful at creating space for some things. I will forgive myself for failing miserably at my intention and remember to acknowledge myself when I notice acceptance. I think this retreat has already started. I am grateful to have this extended period of time to be in silence with all of who I am. What emotions or thoughts are difficult for you to be compassionate about? What could your intention be?