Man oh man, the past week or so have seen some serious struggles personally. I’ve had some news and was forced to come to terms with impermanence in a way I wasn’t really prepared for. This has knocked me around a bit, and has steered me way off course.
Some others, who are close to me, are unaware of the news so there aren’t many details to explain. I’ve had a time and a half trying to get myself on the cushion. I know it is there that I can really try to focus on this thing, but once I get there my mind is unfocused and wants to go other places. I know this is my minds way off not dealing with this, but at some point I am going to have to force it to do so.
Unfortunately, the low quality of sitting, or lack thereof, has created chaos for me. Irritation is at an all time high, and for lack of a better description, I’ve been an asshole lately. My lack of motivation is irritating folks as well, especially those in my household. As usual, I turned to the internet for some semblance of balance, whether it was a quote, help from a friend, etc.
The teaching appeared to me though, not during my search but while I was just checking out a page, frustrated with the search.
Most of us dread bad or uncomfortable situations, wondering what we can do to make them less unpleasant. But as far as the [Dharma] practice is concerned, that isn’t the point. Surrendering to a situation might indeed make us feel better, but that is not the purpose of the exercise. Surrendering allows us to feel the qualities of a situation and to see things clearly. If we turn away or respond with aggression, we never get the chance to do that.
So even if you feel the situation that’s about to unfold might be so embarrassing, frightening, or difficult you would never recover from it, just open to it. It may appear like a high wall that you can’t see beyond, but you will pass through it and come out the other side. It’s going to happen anyway, and one way or another you will deal with it. So take the attitude “Even if this situation destroys me…” Logically, you know this won’t happen. You will live through the experience. But by entering into the situation with openness, you have a chance to see its nature. You get to taste the whole situation, just as you would in formless meditation. You get to treat it as a guest rather than an adversary.
SOURCE: Rigdzin Shikpo, Never Turn Away: The Buddhist Path Beyond Hope and Fear
So, I guess it’s time to invite this discomfort in and deal with it now, rather than when it becomes raw and unbearable. In this situation, one may ask “Why me?” Hell, I think I even asked myself the same thing, but had a quick answer, “because that’s the way it is!”