A brief follow-up to the post on The Journey:
In The Journey, Brandon Bays describes a process of welcoming and staying with whatever painful emotion is here. Welcome it, stay with it. Allow it to transform, as it naturally does (new layers of hurt/wounds emerge). Until it all drops into the void.
It’s what I find happens naturally during meditation, especially if the sessions are regular and a bit on the longer side. What’s stuffed earlier in life surfaces, and there is an experience of intense emotions burning themselves out, leaving a brilliant clarity and awakeness.
It’s also something I can explore in everyday life, for instance asking myself can I be with what I am experiencing now? (Raphael Cushnir.) I can also explore it further: Is it true this is too much? Is it true it’s overwhelming? Is it true avoiding it is easier?
And I can identify thoughts behind my impulse to fuel or avoid the emotion/stories surfacing, and take these to inquiry. Here are some I find for myself: (a) Opening to the emotion will make it worse. It’s overwhelming. It’s too much. (b) The thought is true. It’s pointless to inquire into it. Inquiring into the thought will make it worse. (c) It’s easier to avoid. It’s more comfortable to avoid. Something terrible will happen if I open to the emotion/inquire into the thought.
And I can identify and inquire into thoughts behind my impulse to (a) engage in and fueling the emotions/stories surfacing, or (b) avoiding and escaping from them. Both of which are really ways of avoiding (i) opening to the emotion, feeling it, allowing it it’s life, and (ii) inquire into the thoughts behind it to see what’s more true for me.
And I can identify thoughts behind my impulse to fuel or avoid the emotion/stories surfacing, and take them to inquiry. Which thoughts do I find behind my impulse to engage in and fuel the emotion/thoughts surfacing? Which thoughts do I find behind my impulse to avoid and escape from them?