I have been exploring resistance more lately, in many different ways and situations.
Some weeks back, I spent a few days in Seattle and woke up the second morning with a terrible stomach ache (from a meal the night before). It was very intense, and there was little – of the obvious things – that I could do to alleviate it.
I noticed that if I brought attention away from the pain, it increased and became almost unbearable. If I brought attention to it – being with it, meeting it – it softened and changed quality.
So with resistance, in the form of bringing attention to something else and telling stories about how it shouldn’t be there, it intensified. Allowing the resistance to fall away, the sensations softened and changed – into just a sense of fullness which I couldn’t place the label “pain” on even if I wanted.
Just another example of how life is my main (in reality only) guru, giving me what I need. And how the greatest secrets are right under our nose. Resistance to experience = sense of separation, fragmentation, I – Other, stress, discontent and suffering. Allowing resistance to fall away = sense of fullness, spaciousness and a quiet joy.
There are many other aspects to this as well.
Resistance and beliefs
Resistance seems to go along with beliefs. There is a belief that the current situation should be different, and there is resistance to experiences in the form of (a) attention brought elsewhere and (b) another story about the experience and its meaning (often “bad”).
So I can unravel the beliefs, for instance through The work. Or I can allow the resistance to the experience to fall away, meeting it with simplicity, asking myself can I be with what I am experiencing right now?
As Bhagavan says, anything fully experienced is bliss. That is certainly accurate in my experience, although the bliss so far – in my limited experience – is more of a quiet joyfulness which goes along with the fullness of the experience.
Maybe most simply, a belief and corresponding resistance to experience creates a sense of I and Other, and this inherently brings up discontent, alienation, stress, unease, suffering. Allowing beliefs to unravel and resistance to fall away, there is an absence of I and Other and a corresponding sense of fullness, being at home, quiet joy.