Whenever I experience something as “other”, it tends to become a disturbance.
This is true for anything outside of my human self, and it is true for anything inside of my human self. It can be other people, particular circumstances and so on, or it can be any sensation, feeling, emotion, thought or any other experience. Anything arising, outside or inside of my human self, can be experienced as “other” and thus a disturbance.
And if I resist this “other”, it leads to suffering. I am trying to hold something at bay which is really there, and Newton’s third law seems to work even here so when I push it – it pushes back. I try to push it away, and it pushes to come in.
One resolution is to ask myself Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? (See Raphael Kushnir’s book “Unconditional Bliss” for more on this). Doing this allows me to just be with it, and it allows it to unfold, transform and eventually dissipate. What looked terrible and gruesome when I tried to push it away, is now revealed as something far more benign when I invite it to be and stay.
It seems that any approach or technique works in some situations, and not in other. It may work for a while and for some people, and then not.
I have worked with the being with it – or being – approach for a while, and found it tremendously helpful. But now, the process leads me in a slightly different direction. I find that in itself, it does not give an as full resolution as I am looking for. And what does work right now is to find genuine curiosity for the experience, to be sincerely interested in what is happening – down into its smallest details. It is a more active approach, and seems to complement the being with approach nicely.
Last night, I listened to a long story on the history and use of syringes (!) on BBC. I found the story itself really interesting, but it also brought up some discomfort in me as I have a medium phobia for syringes (and related things for that matter). Just being with what I experienced was OK, but it didn’t turn around more fully until I found an active and real curiosity for whatever was brought up, whatever I was experiencing.
At first, there was an interest in the story as well as some discomfort coming up, which could be seen as a disturbance if I made it into an “other” and resisted it. And then, there was a double interest – both in the story itself and in all the things triggered in my human self.