Last night at my meditation class we were discussing patterns and why we continue to partake in activities we know are not beneficial. My mentor termed this dependant co-origination. If we do ‘x’ this is the result. The pattern that we find ourselves in are just repetitions and many times variations of the same root pattern. Do you ever have the feeling that someone is communicating everything that is in your head? This is exactly how I felt last night.
I often struggle with my practice and how I’m not good enough. Why is it that the more we practice, the harder it gets – when will we be good? Am I any less angry and reactive than I was before, sure, but why aren’t I progressing at a much quicker pace? Yes, this is the commentary that plays throughout the day. Ultimately this led us to the principle that you can’t weight train in space – we require the gravitational pull to add resistance. My mentor then correlated this to our spiritual practice. In our spiritual practice the gravitational pull is of ego consciousness. This is that place in time that either pulls you towards something you like or pushes you away from something that you have an aversion to. When we consider this, ego isn’t a bad thing – it is our interaction with ego.
If you are fortunate, you have some degrees of awareness some of the time and can get out of this pattern sometimes, you have some control. But most of us are either not aware at all or are aware but can’t stop the pattern. This is me, yep me right here! Let me give you an example: its golf season and what goes well with golf – beer! I know that beer is going to make my belly feel awful, but I make the conscious decision to partake. Then I spiral even further, beat myself up afterwards, pay for it about a day or so (yes, too much information) and vow to make a better decision next time. Then the next time rolls around, everyone is having a beer and I again decide ok I’ll have a beer. By just being aware that I am consciously making that choice is a huge leap from where I was two years ago, sure, but when will I have some control. With practice, it always boils down to with practice.
After we had all beat ourselves up, we finished the evening with stating one thing that we would practice compassion towards ourselves for the week. Lucky me got to go second, to which I responded: everything. I’m not compassionate to myself at all, so everything. But that needed to be further defined. The next thing that popped into my head was I am going to be compassionate to myself that my bathtub is not clean. To which my fellow yogis said who cares, that’s not what you need right now, you need to be outside, walking the dog, enjoying life. True, I’m not messy I just organize in a different way. Ugh, ok so I needed the help of my mentor to get my thoughts straight.
This week I am going to be compassionate when I don’t do ‘x’ to the standards that I place on myself.
That’s going to be a whole lot of compassion I’m sending to myself!
Why don’t you join me? What’s one thing that you can practice compassion towards yourself this week?