Short answer, yes.
But most of you know me by now, short answers are not my cup of tea for such important ponderings…
When I went to my first Vipassana to learn meditation it was perhaps the most hard thing I had done on a physical pain level (sitting cross legged for 10.5 hours a day) and on an emotional level.
This technique is derived from Buddha’s teachings.
So the first 5 days, I was in a war against the pain and suffering I was going through. Many times I felt this is it, I’m out of here, what a stupid (insert expletive) thing to be doing. A major mind war was playing out.
Then I would have beautiful moments, and it was like ohhh, this is nice. I like this, maybe all my meditations will be like this. Then back to the incredibly painful burn of my hips and back would tear me out. Oh I hate this pain, I wish I didnt have it. Suffering on and on.
Every night there was a lecture from Goenka on video. A beautiful spirit devoted to sharing Bhudda’s knowledge and practice. And a consistent theme was equanimity.
Sure, have an equanimous mind. easy for him to say, he’s not feeling my pain.
Yet over the days, you start to see a pattern unfolding. And the truth of Bhudda’s saying:
Desire creates suffering. It is the very root of suffering.
Hmm, what does that really mean?
Good question, lets go back to my meditation experience. I was hating it when in moments of pain and desiring it to be not what it was. I was loving it when it was blissful and wanting to have more of those experiences.
This loop, kept me locked in the battle of the mind. Desire more of what I want, and less of what I don’t want. Which sets up suffering as we are never at ease.
We accept life on our terms, not on that which it is. I’m happy when times are good, and wish for more of this. I’m sad when times are bad, and wish for less of this.
Round and round. Playing the game of life. Which in the Vedas is called Leela – the divine play.
Right now, for most of us. There has been a drastic change in living conditions.
For a few, it is welcomed. For a lot it is a hard time.
There is collective, stress, worry and anxiety.
And here, we can be dragged into the trap of wishing for it to be different. Which I get, but if we can understand this is what Bhudda is referring to. It is is a suffering trap.
We have to accept the moments for what they bring. What they are. Not what we wish them to be. As it is from surrender and acceptance to the moment that we can take more inspired right action.
It is only through applying that neutral indifference that we can gain clarity of thought and emotions. Which we can then navigate more successfully the situations of life without getting bogged in unproductive thought patterns.
As I am sure you’d agree. we can worry, have panic, fear and stress but does it change anything?
I certainly wished that my thoughts could have eradicated my pain during my meditations. But no. No chance.
But at some point, it all shifted and I started to view the pain differently. Without the emotions or desire for it to not be there.
I surrendered and accepted and also learnt to not be attached to the bliss states. They too shall pass.
Now I know my physical discomfort may seem pale in comparison to what is playing out on a global scale. But from a pure pragmatic standpoint the functions that the mind is operating in. These are the same.
When I teach meditation I labour home the importance of a very key concept:
Neutral indifference. And surrender and acceptance.
My friends, it is truly in these times that these teachings from so many of the far greater minds than mine that have passed these wisdom’s down are critical for our wellbeing. For our sake, for our children’s sake and for our collectives sake.
It is easy to do great when things are going great. But when there not, it can be hard. We lose vitality, passion and feel off centre.
But your nervous system right now needs you to drop into that deeper state of being. So to does the collective. We need calm, stable, centred energy to be pushed back into the ether.
If you do not currently have a practice start one… Jump on an app, or watch a guided meditation or give me a call.
Look at the ocean on the stormiest of seas. Go to the bottom, its calm. Quiet. Safe.
So to within you.
Stay well and connected.