Everything is Changing.
What is it about our minds, that wants to hold onto this ever changing flux and flow of life. I wonder why we evolved to engage the flow of life and to grasp at feelings, things, emotions, people, states of mind, that by the time we have grasped at them, are already gone if they ever existed in the first place. In our daily lives, there are reminders everywhere, that everything is in the process of change. Yet we still act as if we will not die, as if people will always be in our lives as if experiencing emotions like joy , anger, sadness, fear, and comfort are not just passing through our body/minds but here to stay “forever”. Our minds have convinced us that we can hold onto things that are not tangible at the expense of our own sanity. Our minds convince us that if we can only be better, stronger , faster, and smarter that we will finally be in control. It is madness, a madness of our neurology that we are all stuck in. The more we hold on, or think we can control this flow of life the more pain and friction we find in our lives. But there is a lot of humor in the fact that we all share this commonality of humanity.
This morning in my seated meditation, I had an emotion come up, normally I would just say “thinking” and get back to the activity. However this morning, I decided to blend with the experience, not fight it and use the emotion as the focus of my meditation. I used a Taoist exercise called ” Water Wearing Down a Stone” Here is the basic recipe.
- Isolate an emotion or something that happened that elicits an emotion.
- See a painting of the scene in your imagination. and give the picture in your mind a label, you can see it as the title of the painting.
- While filling your mind with the image , say the word label in your head over and over until you feel a shift of consciousness. This could be a new image that appears, a sense of something new, a change in emotion.
- Then see the new scene in the painting and give that picture in your mind a new label. Say that phrase over and over until you feel a shift, or the picture changes.
- Follow this process, winding your way through different images, labeling them and repeating the label in your head.
- Listen to your intuition about when to stop. Many times you come to a place of understanding about the event/emotion. Sometimes, you go as far as the moment will allow, and it may come up again at a later time. In any event, some kind of change occurs in your understanding and response to the event.
Be kind to yourself above all and watch the exercise unfold. Make no snap judgements, just watch the images unfold. Letting the stone, in the way of flow of life, start to wear down.
For me this morning, though I won’t share the specific event, I will tell you it was an emotion/event that I did not understand, that brought up feelings of sadness and anger, then it changed, and changed and changed, when I stopped the exercise I was looking at a scene, I was not aware that was connected to the original event, from when I was a child. The realization was one that we are all caught up in cycles of cycles of change in which we have no control, even our parents. Though as children we think our parents are in control, they too are caught up in the flow if life. Just as I am now. For me, this morning, it was a personal realization of a specific time, that I didn’t understand , and how at one time I formed an image of the event that was incorrect. Every time an event that is similar occurs that song plays in me.I don’t know if I am done with the emotion/event but I have a pretty good idea it has changed.
Investigating emotional events, sometimes lead to a greater understanding of yourself and the nature of your confusion. Ideas and concepts that are falsely held begin to change. An idea, concept, or emotion all tangled up in a static image begins to flow again. Thus the name, Water wearing down a stone. Depending upon the emotion/event this can be an emotional process so like I said be gentle with yourself.