Suffering and Mood – December 2 2019

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.

Hafiz

Before I learned to meditate, I was always looking for something, anything, to take away the pain I was in. And it was painful to be me at that time. I don’t say this to be dramatic. That’s simply the way life felt. I hurt in every moment, except when I was able to distract myself. In retrospect I can see a few of the components that made up the suffering I was in.

I was filled with stresses. A lifetime of experiences had imprinted on me, and each day was a re-triggering of all these fight, flight or freeze reactions in me. My body was constantly in the discomfort of impending death.

Second, I was not in conscious contact with the field of infinite possibility on a regular basis. With meditation the connection is always there, and all we need to do is turn in its direction to receive healing and inspiration from it. When we can feel ‘at one with’ this field, the discomfort of this one small speck of the field – me – simply disappears.

Third, I did not know how to choose my mood. I was at the mercy of my feelings and uncomfortable body sensations, and the stories my mind made up to explain to me why I had them. How do I feel? Bad. Why do I feel bad? Because you are bad. Bad is all you deserve to feel.

What is different today? One, by meditating each day, the stresses unwind from the body, leaving us more and more free and clear, ready to be present to life. Two, by meditating each day, we are ever more fully in contact with the place within, the field of all possibilities, and fed by this field. Three, meditation helps us to feel better, day by day. And on those days when we do not feel so good, we no longer have to be identified with the feelings. The feelings simply are. The feelings are evidence of stresses leaving our body. Though we may not have a choice as to how we feel, as meditators we do have a choice as to our mood. I do not have to be dragged down by the negative feelings. I can let them be and I can choose joy. I can choose graciousness and gratitude. I can choose not to suffer. I can choose life.

Today I will assume a joyful mood, even if a situation ‘tells me’ I should suffer, or be in fear, or hate some one, or hate some thing, or hate life, or hate myself.

Bud Powell has a Dirt Pile

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