Just sitting with pain or discomfort, without trying to escape in any way, without expectation, without a goal in mind, without seeking anything – that’s the juicy place, the place of creative transformation, the place where mud turns to gold.
For many years, I would just sit with grief, frustration, anger, fear, pain, just resting in that bubbling, burning mess for hours and hours, without trying to escape or fix my experience, without hope, without a dream… until peace was discovered even in the midst of that storm, the unshakeable, non-conceptual, ever-present peace that I am, and have always been.
Instead of trying to escape discomfort, we let discomfort reveal its deeper secrets. We sit with discomfort and watch all boundaries between ‘me’ and ‘discomfort’ melt away, until it is no longer ‘me sitting with my discomfort’ at all, and never was. We sit with frustration in the place where it has not yet coagulated into ‘I am frustrated’. We sit with fear prior to the resurrection of the image ‘I am the one who is afraid’. We sit with anger before the birth of our identity as ‘the angry one’. We know ourselves as the vast open space, the boundless and identity-less ocean that welcomes all of these waves as its beloved children, returned home at last, home at last.
– Jeff Foster
This fits my experience, and it’s also something I am still exploring and learning.
I also notice some thoughts that come up about the words he uses:
His language is exaggerated. He uses a language of absolutes. He is trying to escape something. It’s wishful thinking. He is overlooking what’s left. (When he says “without trying to escape in any way” etc..)
And in longer sentences:
How can he possibly know that there is no trying to escape “in any way”, no goals, no seeking of any kind? It may appear that way, in the moment (as I have experienced), and it may still be there. He blocks himself from seeing, being receptive to, what’s left. He sets up unrealistic expectations. He sets up images others may feel they cannot live up to. It’s misguided. It’s not quite honest.