Monday, June 15, 2009

Right Diligence

The spiritual community that I hang with believes in something I'm not sure I do.  They believe that negative thoughts that enter your mind are evil spirits.  They refer to them as "the hells".  I do find the construct useful to think about.  It gives a bit of separation between "me" and the negativity.  Yet, I don't think a lot of my negativity comes from outside of me.  I think it is my mind, and my chemistry.   When I think about the concept of 'the hells', I have always wondered, "why not love the hells?"  I mean, why not respond with love?  This I base on experience from raising myself, and raising my kids.  When a kid is having a tantrum, what they really want is love.  I have floated that idea as a trial balloon but it usually hasn't gone over well.  

I used to do these visualizations occasionally.  In my 20's, I was, seemingly, completely held hostage by my compulsive eating and dieting.   I was turning to different things to try and help myself.  One of them was a meditation-visualization that involved me talking to the part of me that compulsively ate.  I asked her "what do I need to do to stop this?"  She was dressed as a witch.  She removed her hat, and gave it to me.  "You need to love me and accept me".   That was just too profound for my tiny little brain at the time.  But it has stuck with me all these years.  And even at the time, I started slowly to understand it.

Today I was reading an issue of "BuddhaDharma" magazine.  This comment on "Right Diligence" caught my eye:

."When we say we should not give negative seeds a chance to develop, we are referring to the teaching of Right Diligence.  This means first of all that when positive seeds are present we should keep them alive as long as possible.  One example of a positive seed is compassion.  We should keep the seed of compassion alive in our hearts and our minds.  One way to keep this seed alive is to be aware of the suffering.

Second, the practice of Right Diligence means that we do not give negative seeds like hatred and anger a chance to increase by watering them every day.  If you are experienced in the practice of mindfulness, you can complete the practice of Right Diligence by the practice of embracing strong emotions.

From time to time there is a mental formation that refuses to be replaced, like a CD that plays over and over.  Even if you have a strong intention to replace it, it is too strong.  If you are a skillful practitioner you will not try to change the CD.  You will say, "You want to stay?  It's ok!"  You accept the CD, you accept the feeling, you embrace it tenderly, and look deeply into it.  That is also the teaching of the Buddha, to recognize the painful emotion--not to fight it, but to recognize and embrace it to get relief.  Look deeply into its nature to find all the roots of that feeling or emotion, because understanding is the way of liberation.  Mindfulness and concentration lead to insight that is liberating."

Wow..see, that is what I was trying to say, and trying to learn.   And in perfect synchronicity with the Jung quote mentioned in another post.   "We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses."

I will be meditating on this for a while.  It in some way speaks to the political turf wars that I seem to constantly bump into.  

1 comment:

paulobrian said...

Everybody who searches around for a profound quote and then sticks it in an email signature dreams of a moment like this.