What are we adding on?
One of the most common aspects I encounter in my own practice, with my fellow teachers, students and clients is this very deep hurtful feeling that is locked deep inside our protected armor.
There are many tendencies to go about it, today I’m looking into two types: we either want so badly to believe in the idea that “If only I had a different attitude” this pain would go away. Or we want to believe in the concept (which now has become very mainstream) of letting go without resistance, which in theory sounds great and effective, however we need more context in our practice and more understanding to actually ask ourselves to do this work.
Like my teacher Sharon Salzberg says “Some things just hurt, they really do”, pause here, repeat this to yourself. Some things just hurt, they really do and she continues “The question is, what about the extra suffering that doesn’t have to be there?”
This is what we called in Buddhism, the first dukkha, the suffering of suffering.
I believe our nurturing willingness starts there. To open up to what it is as we kindly and gently start to check through our personal conditioning, habits, cultural context, self beliefs on how are we adding to the experience, the emotion, the situation. Maybe it's adding isolation, self blame, hatred, guilt and so on.
It’s through curiosity that we see the very thing that hurts us to then see our tendency to add the extras around it, leading us to believe so fiercely in the whole story we build around a certain pain, situation or experience. To see this is wisdom, to actually have the courage to look at all the ways we keep adding to our stories, to see how gently we can deconstruct those narratives...that right there is already our own mindfulness practice unfolding.