In our essence we are life energy. As life essence, we are designed to thrive as participants in the eternal process of the universe. Obsessing about our pain and fear only feeds more energy into our pain and fear. We can’t control life. The Buddha taught that the life process is impermanent and impersonal, and that suffering arises when we take it personal. The more we mindfully allow the flow of life, the more we thrive. Here are three ways that we can mindfully be with the flow of life.
Allow Sensation to Flow versus Resist and Fight the Pain
The fastest way to have an acute painful sensation pass and heal is by allowance. Resistance leads to persistence, contraction, and chronic suppression. This is the advice I’ve heard from people who have been able to apply this principle in going through tooth drilling and surgery without any anesthetic. Let go of labeling the sensation as pain and reacting to it by contracting the body. Continually focus on relaxing and make a smile. The sensation needs acceptance and love to quickly heal and pass. However, our habitual tendency is to have aversion and fight the sensation. This only makes the injury worse. This is a challenging practice that is beyond our habitual tendency. Obviously, the more intense the sensation, the more mindfully one has to surrender resistance. I have been able to remember to apply this when I have bumped my head, banged my shin, or twisted my ankle and the healing has been faster. It is interesting for the intellect to note the validity of this process.
Domain of Choice versus Domain of Non-Choice in Language
Careful phrasing your choice in language is a very powerful tool to direct life energy from our subconscious mind. Affirmations are only effective when used to state the affirmative choice. Robert Tennyson Stevenson in his book Conscious Language ~ The Logos of Now makes this point as the Domain of Choice versus the Domain of Non-Choice. The Domain of Non-Choice is focused on what is not. It is focused on stopping or quitting something. When using that in our language, the subconscious mind naturally responds and provides more sadness about not having, not doing, not being or remains stymied about what to do, since it is incapable of not doing something. This not being or losing blocks the life force. Instead of using phrases such as: I choose to not be sad. Affirm out loud: I choose to be happy! You will immediately notice the life affirming feeling this way of phrasing supports.
Softening and Smiling versus Forced Concentration in Meditation
Meditation teaches us to let go of our habitual tendency to want things to be a certain way, and to be with things as they are; seeing things as an impersonal process. One common obstacle in meditation is the tendency to try to create a certain experience and then having a concomitant irritation at not having success. This is because we have identified that desired experience as personal. It is my experience, rather than just an experience.
As our body and mind become contracted from forced effort in meditation, we tend to be easily disturbed by any sound. This is an opportunity to recognize that we need to adjust our understanding of how to practice. First of all, allow everything to arise without reacting (contracting your body). Know that when you are distracted from anything (including sound) simply relax all contraction around your head and body, gently smile and return to your object of meditation.
The more you go through this cycle, the more relaxed and undisturbed you will become. Also remember to send good will and kindness to the source of any sound distraction. Our reaction to the sound is the hindrance; not the sound. This is the opportunity to relax and let go of our habitual reactions of aversion and misunderstanding.
This is something that can be practiced all the time. Especially when hearing outside sounds when you are in bed at night. As you become accustomed to not reacting and sending love to the source of the sound, you will delightfully realize that the sound is not a disturbance.