Quote: Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge

 

Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.

– attributed to CG Jung on the internet

This may or may not be an actual quote from Jung. My guess is that it isn’t a quote by him since it doesn’t quite sound like something he would say. It sounds too judgmental!

I would rather say that familiarity is what dissolved judgment. When I understand and am familiar with another person’s history and situation, it’s difficult to judge. For instance, after working with several people with trauma and addictions, judgment doesn’t really come up. It just seems very understandable why they are struggling the way they do. And the same for me, with the ways I struggle. And the same for other people I know. We are all in the same boat here.

At another level, I would say that feeling is difficult, that’s why we judge. When I want to escape an uncomfortable feeling, one of the ways I do that is by judging myself, others, and life. And when I notice, meet, and feel that feeling, and open to it, the need to escape it tends to soften and dissolve, as does the impulse to judge.

Why is it difficult to feel certain feelings? It’s not due to the feeling itself. That’s just a sensation. It’s because of the images and words the mind associated with these feelings, and the mind taking these are scary and real. That’s what makes a sensation or feeling scary, and something we want to avoid at almost any cost. And one of the ways we avoid feeling is by going into thought, and sometimes into judgment of ourselves, others, or the world.

What if this is the single most important thing for you to do right now

 

In Break Through Pain Shinzen Young wrote, paraphrased:

If you are in so much pain you cannot do anything else than lie in bed, what if that’s what the universe considers the single most important thing you can do right now?

It’s a beautiful question, and I sometimes ask myself the same when I feel flattened and am in bed, or feel overwhelmed by primal fears surfacing. What if this is the single most important thing – for me, others, the world – is for me to feel flattened and lie in bed, or feel overwhelmed by these primal fears? What if what’s here is what the universe considers the single most important thing for me to do and experience right now?

(more…)

Book: The Journey

 

I was taking a course with a spiritual teacher when, during a question and answer session, one of the students asked, ‘What do I do if an intense emotion comes up for me – how do I find the peace in that?’

She answered, ‘Just don’t move. Let yourself be completely present to the emotion. Welcome it. If a negative emotion arises, don’t run away from it; don’t run off to the refrigerator to eat some food to cover it up; don’t turn on the television to distract yourself from it; don’t call your friends to disperse its energy by gossiping about it. Just stop and feel it. Just let yourself be present to it. You’ll find if you don’t try to distract yourself from it, or push it away or, worse still, dump it on someone else; if you stay still, if you are really present to it – in the very core of the feeling you will find peace. So when you feel a powerful emotion, just let it be – DON’T MOVE. Welcome it.
– from The Journey by Brandon Bays

I looked at this book yesterday as it is about one of many practical approaches to allow, welcome and be with what’s here.

She describes a process of meeting whatever painful emotions are here, staying with it, allow it to transform (new layers emerge), until it all drops into the void.

It’s what I find happens naturally during meditation, and it’s also something I explore in everyday life through different forms of inquiry.

Skimming through her book, I noticed – or imagine – a few beliefs she may have: If I live a healthy life, I won’t get sick. People will judge me as a failure if use conventional medicine. Illness means something is wrong. Disease is terrible. Older people won’t get it. British people are reserved. (Age/nationality stereotypes.) And even if I don’t recognize these beliefs in an obvious way in myself, it can still be helpful to inquire into these and see what I find.

I also noticed a few beliefs for myself: She thinks her insights are special. It’s an universal insight. It’s too simple (to talk about). It’s too obvious (to make a big deal out of). 

Why is it a good thing it’s presented in this way? Why is it a good thing a very helpful process is presented in this packaging? She may reach a different audience than others presenting similar pointers. Some may share her beliefs (about health etc.), feel a kinship and see her as one of them, and be attracted to explore something they otherwise wouldn’t. For instance, Christians or non-Buddhists may not be exposed/attracted to Buddhist teachers pointing to the same.

(more…)

Churning thoughts, flow of emotions

 

A good reminder:

When I notice churning thoughts or complaints: Write it all down uncensored. Find themes and underlying beliefs. Investigate those, and find what is more honest for me. What happens when I believe those thoughts? Can I know for certain they are true? What’s more true for me? (I can answer any of these questions from the view of Big Mind/Heart.)

When I notice strong or uncomfortable emotions: Set the thoughts and images aside. Connect with my heart. Bring attention to the breath in the heart area. Breathe and feel, breathe and feel. Notice the experiences – emotions, sensations – flowing through.

The times images and strong emotions come up and I take them as true, it is easy to slip into fueling the stories and resisting the emotions they create. I try to push the experience away or escape it, often through distractions. I act from and create confusion, and the images and emotions gets balled into a difficult-to-deal-with mess.

When I instead take a step back and open my mind and heart to one at a time, I make it easier for myself. I write down the thoughts. And take time to breathe and feel the emotions and bodily sensations. An invitation for clarity comes from meeting one at a time.

(more…)