Recently I’ve undergone some difficulties in my life, primarily with physical and emotional pain. On the emotional side, an issue of persistent worry and fear, and on the physical side, some kind of persistent body pain that I will not say more about simply because I don’t know anything yet. I’m going to the doctor on Tuesday and will update if it seems useful.
Concerning the emotional pain, I would have to say it was the worse of the two afflictions. Something about physical suffering makes it not so bad, in the sense that, if one has a meditation practice, we can always create some space around the pain, or bring the pain into our practice. In that sense, physical pain and illness are actually pretty beneficial. I can’t expect this body to run forever, so a good physical ailment is sort of like a reminder of the fate I share with all beings.
The emotional pain was hard, particularly because I felt racked with guilt and fear over a personal issue. While it was possible to observe this as well, it was more challenging, because all of a sudden ego didn’t have it’s familiar ground of being “the good guy.” Well, fuck.
After a long talk with my wife and some purifying experiences in practice, while I do not feel 100% on the issues of my emotional self, I also am able to recognize (however fleetingly) that stewing in this is not the way of the Buddha. Time to move on, even if it still hurts, even if I am still afraid or still looking for some absolution outside of myself.
One of the things that has helped me through this is love for my teacher. It was, in fact, this love that made me feel I was on the correct course and just needed to break through some of the difficulties in order to continue on. I also was able to use a sound healing practice that was of great benefit to me. I will place a link to it at the bottom, and can only say it’s provided a new, positive angle on my meditation that I have been missing for some time: joy!
I will share some advice a teacher gave me. He asked me what I planned to do about a situation, and I told him that I kept changing my mind. He said, “OK, think about it a little bit, but then whatever your higher mind says, do that.” I didn’t know what it meant at the time: what is my higher mind? I still don’t have a very good grasp of it, but my feeling is that it has to do with the heart. The mind is always talking about what it wants to do, but somehow the heart already knows what needs to be done. Just a question of listening to that wisdom.