They’re like messengers that show us,
with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck."
"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,
Knowing your own darkness is the best method
for dealing with the darknesses of other people."”
Yet -- and this is generally not proclaimed in the slick internet ads -- it is also true that a regular mediation practice can bring to the surface a lot of feelings that we have assiduously managed to repress, deny or avoid as we scurry ahead in our lives.
Conditioned to operate in a fast-paced materialistic society, one that keeps us focused outwardly for fulfillment, we just keep moving. Once we slow down and sit still for awhile to focus inwardly, our world changes. Although we can experience greater calm, it is also not uncommon to encounter darker, more distressing emotions at times.
Contrary to what we might think, this is a Good Thing. It's a sign that the Practice is working!
In the process of a deepening Practice, we no longer skim across the surface. We actually begin to get in touch with the aspects of our conditioning that have subconsciously operated to create the way we see and react to the events of our lives. (How often have you winced and thought "damn. Why did I say/do that!?)
The good news is that, with Practice, we are able to make conscious what had been subconscious. Over time, we are able to observe and navigate the more troublesome aspects of ourselves with increasing clarity and ease.
Truth in Advertising
Adrift in momentary delusions of grandeur, I sometimes joke about beginning a high profile advertising campaign for Monday Morning Mindfulness with full page bold print ads, billboards and television commercials proclaiming something like: