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Just receive what's given?

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Just receive what's given?
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2/9/15 9:04 PM
How do you all feel about this as a technique?  Pain arises?  Welcome it.  Pleasure arises?  Welcome it.  As long as there's a residual curiosity and sense of inquiry, will this suffice without a more, "aggressive," insight technique?

RE: Just receive what's given?
Answer
2/9/15 9:57 PM as a reply to Ryan Eugene Adams.
IME, this practice does work, but I don't think it's the best way.  If you feel like you can welcome things with little stress or resistance, then it's easy to do and there is no need for anything else at that moment.  The problem is when you can't welcome something, as much as you want to, and you have nothing fall back on.  This has been my problem in the past.  I ended up going rapidly between very good and very bad mental states with a lot of doubt and confusion mixed in.

So, I would recommend adding a concentration practice into the mix.  It will have a stabilizing effect that makes welcoming things much easier.  You don't need much for it to have a positive impact - even counting 100 breaths every morning will do a lot.

RE: Just receive what's given?
Answer
2/9/15 10:36 PM as a reply to Ryan Eugene Adams.
I can't welcome pain and difficulty.  Acceptance may even be too strong a term.  Perhaps just simply recognition that the experience of this moment how ever painful and rotten it is -  is the experience of the moment. 

Welcoming and acceptance may be too strong for pleasure as well. It may not be as obvious but I suspect it may be just as true.

RE: Just receive what's given?
Answer
3/21/15 11:58 AM as a reply to elizabeth.
Elizabeth, when you say you can't welcome pain and difficulty, I wonder if you could state more specifically what that actual experience is for you? The reason I ask is that I've spent the last several months dealing with a very painful spinal nerve condition that has made sitting virtually impossible at times, and I've found something very interesting.

On many occasions, I've caught that very thought/feeling of resistance appearing in my awareness as an already formed, verbal statement: "I can't handle this," or "This is too much for me." It's just there like a big thing I can't argue with. What I've realized is that for me, when this is happening, what's really been going on is that I haven't been paying close enough attention to the physical sensations and the tightening against them until it gets to the point where suddenly there's this hard, locked in place judgment that dominates my awareness. At that point it's very difficult to "unravel" it or work it back. But having had this happen several times has helped me to refine my attention on the physical and emotional sensations so that in many cases I can notice their "difficult" quality, or the way in which some resistance is beginning to form against them, before it gets to the point where there's that hardened "I can't" feeling to it.

So what's been really interesting for me is to work on sensing the subtle ways in which a physical sensation arises, quickly gets "labeled" as unpleasant, then a further process of emotional resistance takes over, in a sort of self-feeding loop. In many cases, I've actually found that the so-called unpleasant or difficult sensation actually has something to offer me when I can pay close enough attention to it, and there can be a loosening or acceptance around it in which the feeling shifts from being one of difficulty to one of thankfulness or gratitude. 

I encourage you to keep open to what seems difficult, be patient with yourself, and two to work down below that level of "I" statements, because there may be more there for you. 

RE: Just receive what's given?
Answer
3/21/15 8:01 PM as a reply to Andy.
Andy:
Elizabeth, when you say you can't welcome pain and difficulty, I wonder if you could state more specifically what that actual experience is for you?  


Perhaps a better way of saying it is that I think there are pains and difficulties that I don’t need to welcome. Welcoming is a technique and it can work.  But what I have found to work more often for me is just to be aware of whatever is happening and be there as much as I can without  demanding it be different, without holding on or pushing away and then let that moment go to deal with the next moment.  

What I mean by being there is paying attention to what is happening. Not getting lost in my thoughts or feelings about it. Not thinking about the past or the future.  Not  trying to escape or avoid what is happening by putting my attention someplace else.
 
Welcoming or acceptance doesn’t seem to be required. Noticing sensations and breaking the sensations down to components helps me. Recognizing the layers of emotions and thoughts helps me.  Seeing the stories I am making up about the situation and projecting into the future are just stories helps me.  Noticing more of what is happening and breaking it down is probably one of the more effective ways I’ve found to stay in the present moment.  Though sometimes I have had to just to notice without breaking it down too much because the next thing is already here.  

There was a time last year when both of my elderly parents were ill.  What was going to happen the next day was completely unpredictable and the next hour wasn’t much better.  But my ability to cope was better and my level of overall suffering was much less than in previous times they had been ill.  One of the things that was different was that I was much less caught up in my ‘stuff’ and much more able to stay in the present moment with them. 

I am not sure how to describe this but there are times when I can just be with what is happening in the moment without having to label it as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. I can just be there.  I don’t have to welcome it.  I don’t even have to accept it.  I just have to be there with it  without demanding that it be something different than it is.  Is that acceptance or something a bit less? I am not sure. Welcoming  seems like a step or two beyond.

It may be possible, it may be helpful, but I am not sure it is required.  Perhaps it is enough to just be there.


Andy:
On many occasions, I've caught that very thought/feeling of resistance appearing in my awareness as an already formed, verbal statement: "I can't handle this," or "This is too much for me." It's just there like a big thing I can't argue with. What I've realized is that for me, when this is happening, what's really been going on is that I haven't been paying close enough attention to the physical sensations and the tightening against them until it gets to the point where suddenly there's this hard, locked in place judgment that dominates my awareness. At that point it's very difficult to "unravel" it or work it back. But having had this happen several times has helped me to refine my attention on the physical and emotional sensations so that in many cases I can notice their "difficult" quality, or the way in which some resistance is beginning to form against them, before it gets to the point where there's that hardened "I can't" feeling to it.

So what's been really interesting for me is to work on sensing the subtle ways in which a physical sensation arises, quickly gets "labeled" as unpleasant, then a further process of emotional resistance takes over, in a sort of self-feeding loop. In many cases, I've actually found that the so-called unpleasant or difficult sensation actually has something to offer me when I can pay close enough attention to it, and there can be a loosening or acceptance around it in which the feeling shifts from being one of difficulty to one of thankfulness or gratitude. 

I encourage you to keep open to what seems difficult, be patient with yourself, and two to work down below that level of "I" statements, because there may be more there for you. 


 I agree that there is more for me to look at. Thank you for writing so clearly about this.