What’s up for us tends to color our experience of anything.
It tends to color our experience of whatever we bring attention to, and the stronger the mind is identified with what’s up, the stronger the coloring. This goes for anything triggered in us, whether it’s a deficiency story, an inflated story, an emotion, or anything else with a charge.
This dynamic also happens within inquiry sessions.
Hopelessness is triggered. And we can become hopeless about inquiry, about anything helping, about the session itself.
Anger is triggered. And we become angry at the facilitator, the session, inquiry, life itself, and the mind has good reasons for each of these.
Sadness is triggered. And we are sad about how the session is going, maybe that it’s not helping as we thought it would, that we are a hopeless case.
Superiority is triggered. (Reaction to own fear.) We feel that the facilitator is dumb or naive and we know better. We feel we could do a better job than the facilitator. We feel we are wasting our time here.
Inferiority is triggered. We feel we are unable to do the inquiry very well. We are ashamed and may try to hide it from the facilitator.
Fear is triggered. We become afraid of where the facilitator will lead us next. We become afraid of looking at what’s here or feeling the sensations. We may want to flee from the session in any way possible. (Including falling asleep, go to the bathroom, start talking about instead of looking at what’s here.)
Frustration comes up. (Filtered anger.) We become frustrated with the facilitator, the way the session is going, with inquiry, and with anything else. And the mind comes up with good reasons for all of this.
The mind will direct whatever is up at whatever is here in the situation. It will try to make sense of the emotion or feeling by pinning it on something in the situation. And in reality, it’s something old.
There may be some truth to whatever stories the mind comes up with. There usually is, and as the facilitator, it’s good to acknowledge this and take it seriously.
At the same time, it’s helpful to notice this dynamic. It can help us take a step back, recognize what’s happening, and look at it in the inquiry session.
Freud recognized this dynamic, as must have many before him, and he called it transference. I like to just call it coloring.
It’s not anything terribly mysterious. We all do it.