I listened to Radio Adyashanti from last week (August 29, 2012, a very helpful episode for me), and he suggested what I have found for myself.
When there is a slight discomfort in daily life, and I open to it, and I keep doing it in daily life, it’s easier when big things come up. I am more familiar with the terrain. It becomes a new habit. The groove deepens.
Discomfort. There is a slight discomfort here. I am still. Open to it. Notice how it’s all awareness, it’s all happening within and as awareness. I notice the tendency of the mind to try to figure it out, find a solution, go to stories for resolution, and that too is all awareness. Content of awareness is busy. Awareness itself is still. It’s what’s always here. It’s what it all happens within and as.
By exploring a small discomfort in this way, a new habit is formed. I take the 180 degree turn from my old habit of avoiding this stillness, and instead am still, notice it all as awareness, allow the content of awareness it’s life and notice it already has it’s life. If or when a bigger discomfort comes, there is already familiarity with meeting it this way.
It’s the same with just about any other exploration, of course.
Pain. Right now, I find a slight pain in the right side of the jaw. I explore this through the sense fields, noticing what’s there in pure sensations, what’s there in images, what’s there in stories. I notice the pure sensations, and how the experience of “pain” comes when an image (a boundary, a texture) and a label (pain) is added onto it. I notice how it shifts when attention is on the pure sensation.
Then, I explore the turnarounds. TA: It’s not pain. When attention is on pure sensation, it’s not pain. Pain is only a label, reality is something entirely different. TA: It’s pleasure. Can I find where that’s true in immediate experience? What do I find when I stay with that turnaround? TA: I am pain. I am a pain to myself when I believe all my stories about pain, when I take the label as true and the stories about what it means as true.
By exploring small pain like this, I get to see what’s really there. I get to see what’s more true than my initial thoughts about it. And that makes it easier if/when there is a big pain. A different habit has been formed.
Inquiry. I am slightly annoyed by someone talking on the mobile on the tram. So I write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet and take it to inquiry. I may find that these thoughts come up in many areas of life, including in some “big” issues. And also, by becoming more familiar with the dynamics of thoughts taken as true or not, and inquiry itself, it’s easier to write a JYN and take it to inquiry when something bigger comes up in life. Also, by inquiring into the worst that can happen, a door is opened so if/when it actually happens, something may be different.
– when a slight discomfort in daily life, open to it, then easier when big things comes up
– inquiry on the small things, then easier when big things comes up