Sometimes, we try to distance ourselves from a certain experience. It may be an emotion that a thought says is unpleasant. Or it may be discomfort, or physical pain, or even suffering. We may see it as “other” or separate from us, so a reasonable strategy is to try to keep it that way, and make use of the apparent separation to try to make it go away, or distract ourselves from it. It doesn’t really work, and it actually deepens the discomfort.
Another approach is to meet it, befriend it, make peace with, even find love for it. This too often comes from the appearance of separation. It still seems somewhat separate from us, but we realize that meeting it and getting closer feels better. It may seem scary at first, and thought will come up with any number of reasons why it’s a bad idea. And yet, we know it will feel better. It resolves the discomfort at a more deep and real level.
Here, there may still be a struggle between wanting to avoid the experience, and wanting to meet it and befriend it. And that struggle is created by the apparent separation, which still seems somewhat real.
Then, we may realize there is actually no real separation. Any sense of separation is created by the mind. Our experience – the whole field of it as it is here and now – is what I am. I don’t exist apart from it. It’s who and what I am. So why would I even try to struggle with it? (Even struggle and resistance and apparent separation happens within and as what I am.)
There may still be the appearance of separation, so I can explore that separation. How does the mind create it? Is it really as solid or real as it may seem?
I notice an uncomfortable experience in my body, a contraction and tension. It seems somewhat separate from me.
Look at the word “separation”. Is that word separation? Does it separate anything? No.
Where do you find separation between you and the uncomfortable sensation? I see a vague picture.
Look at the picture. Does that picture separation you from the sensation? No, it’s a picture. But there is a sensation that seems connected to it.
Feel the sensation. Is that sensation the separation? No.
And so on, until the separation cannot be found anywhere.
Other things to look for are: A boundary. Distance. (Between me and the sensation.) The one who is separate. (From the sensation.) Something I am separate from. (An uncomfortable experience.)
As I cannot find separation, or a boundary, or distance, or a separate me, or even what I appear separate from, the whole idea of struggle or pushing something away looses it’s meaning.