Crisis can hit at anytime. Job loss, the passing of a loved one, ill health, relationship breakup, financial ruin. Nothing is stable in life and everything passes through a cycle; even good things that we hoped may last could come to an end.
Our capacity to experience emotion increases when we awaken or commence a meditation practice. Our level of sensitivity actually grows. We feel and hurt deeper than before. This is a normal aspect of awakening, as we become more connected to the emotional undercurrent in our bodies.
Our deepest wounds and hurts, our emotional difficulties and those dark scary places within are not a mistake. There is not something wrong with you. The invitation both in meditation and throughout daily life is: can you make room for your inner experience? Can you give each feeling and painful experience free passage?
This is a radical proposition. So much of society is concerned with fixing and making things better. If we experience a dark or difficult feeling, we attempt to change it. We try to think of a way to make things better. A huge amount of energy can go into attempting to improve our inner experience and emotional make up.
The invitation is to relax the mind's need to change your inner experience. Gently let go and fall into the space around you without attempting to solve, fix or change your inner experience.
Give yourself permission to not know. Release yourself from the demand that you must improve your situation. Let go and allow yourself to dissolve into the infinite expanse of the universe around you. This is the Buddha Mind. As clinical psychologist Tara Brach calls it, fall into True Refuge.
Spiritual awakening and the path of enlightenment can feel amazing at times. At other times, it can be painful. It is not often spoken about in spiritual circles at just how difficult awakening is. We may originally start meditation with good intentions, such as wanting to become enlightened or to experience relief from psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. However one can quickly lose any spiritual insights gained. Blissful experiences can quickly disappear as you return to ordinary consciousness.
Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of meditation is not to become enlightened or to change any inner experience. Rather, it is to be at home with your inner experience as it is, without any attempt to modify, change, heal or transform it.
Meditation calls for radical self compassion, where you allow yourself to be as you are - with all of your wounding, dysfunction and inadequacies. This is because there is nothing wrong with any appearance, they are all welcome. Your deepest pain and darkest wounding is not a mistake. You are not a disfunction that you must try to get rid of.
As you relax into mediation with no technique and no escape, unprocessed feelings, emotions, memories and energy will naturally come to the surface. This is because our body holds an enormous amount of material and energy until we are ready to deal with it. This is why it can feel so dark and painful during meditation. It is not that something is wrong with you, rather that your body is going through a profound release. Left to unfold on its own, healing and insight will naturally arise.
Rest gently, go slow and be very kind to yourself. Meditation is not an achievement - there is no place to go. All experiences - both negative and positive - are naturally enlightened.
Daniel Solodky is a nondual, transpersonal and Buddhist Psychotherapist providing online therapy over secure video. Book Daniel at: https://calendly.com/danielsolodky