Showing posts from March, 2019

Opening to uncomfortable experiences

For the past seven years or so, I've kept up a (mostly) daily mindfulness meditation practice. One of the things this practice shows me on a regular basis is how difficult it is to be really open. We are not used to opening to our felt experiences and sensations or to the unknown. Most of our moment to moment experience goes unnoticed in the swirl of life, as we are either too busy to stop and observe, or if space opens up we reach automatically for distractions. Both busyness and distraction are ways of avoiding or staving off the discomfort that simple or empty moments present (e.g. sitting on the bus, waiting for a coffee, eating a meal). Our daily lives are guided mostly by force of habit, and in particular, the habit of moving towards comfort and away from discomfort. Meditation offers training in openness. It challenges us to simply observe and sit with our experiences as they unfold. As a method, it asks us only to watch. In insight meditation (which is the form I p