Presence vs. Avoidance

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wonderer
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Presence vs. Avoidance

Post by wonderer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:59 pm

When I previously studied mindfulness meditation, part of the idea was that if you felt emotions, you would stay present with the emotion until it went away. For me the emotion was often sadness or fear, and if I stayed with it, I might find myself coming up with reasons for it, thinking about them, sitting with them, observing them, and eventually moving through it. In situations of conflict, I would try to observe my emotions, rather than reacting to them. I have also been working on being more in touch with my emotions because I am very repressed and often don't know what I'm feeling and don't let myself feel things. This has involved being sensitive to what I'm feeling, and then going into it to try to understand and accept it.

However this involved a lot of what could alternately be considered wallowing in negative emotions, being taken over by my pain-body, etc. It has sometimes felt healing, I have learned things about myself, my past, and my reactions. But after reading Tolle I worry that I'm just feeding the pain-body.

When I practice Tolle-style presence, while I don't repress or ignore my emotions, my focus is on what I'm seeing, hearing, sensing in the present moment. I don't let myself be taken over by the pain-body. If I'm in a conflict, I focus on listening attentively to the other person, without being taken over by my own reactions or focusing on how I will defend/counter-attack. I feel myself as the observer, separate from my reactions. Similarly if it's just me by myself, bothered by something, rather than going into it, I stay present with my senses and remember that nothing is wrong in my present moment, I don't have an actual problem, my mind is manufacturing one. Which works decently.

My worry is that what I'm doing is avoiding my own thoughts, feelings, patterns, triggers, etc, rather than becoming a more present and conscious person. When alone, I worry that by focusing on my senses and how something is "not a problem" I am avoiding understanding, defusing, or fixing it. In a conflict, I worry that by focusing on listening, ignoring my ego, reminding myself I'm not actually being stabbed (however it feels), I'm dismissing my feelings and not letting myself have a voice in the conversation.

One thing to disclaim is that my presence is much stronger when focusing on my external senses than my internal body, and my presence at sensing my internal emotional body is extremely weak. It could be that if I built up that internal-emotional presence, I would feel integrated and non avoidant. But I also wonder if Tolle goes to far in saying never to feed the pain-body. Or maybe I just misunderstand what is my present emotions and what is my past pain. Ideas?

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Webwanderer
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Re: Presence vs. Avoidance

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:11 am

Welcome to the forum Wonderer. I write on this concern quite a bit and I encourage you to read some of my previous posts addressing this topic.
wonderer wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:59 pm
My worry is that what I'm doing is avoiding my own thoughts, feelings, patterns, triggers, etc, rather than becoming a more present and conscious person. When alone, I worry that by focusing on my senses and how something is "not a problem" I am avoiding understanding, defusing, or fixing it. In a conflict, I worry that by focusing on listening, ignoring my ego, reminding myself I'm not actually being stabbed (however it feels), I'm dismissing my feelings and not letting myself have a voice in the conversation.
It may be helpful to understand the nature of our emotions and how they come to be. What are they? Why are they present in our experience? Sure they are feelings, but what makes so many of them painful while others are quite pleasant? I suggest you understand your contribution to them. They don't just appear, they are created by virtue of the context in which we hold certain thoughts - and more deeply, beliefs. Understanding the mechanism of emotions is key to getting the most value out of them and more freedom from their effects in our life.

Now, I'm certainly no psychologist. My perspective comes almost entirely from a larger reality context. It's the only thing that has made sense to me on a broad scale and I have found it wonderfully valuable in dealing with the flow of emotions in my own life. Basically, understanding our emotions has to do with the quality of alignment with our own true nature.

In the larger reality, the reality of Spirit, Source, there is a fundamental basis of unconditional love. When we are quiet of mind and open to truth and clarity, such as what happens when following Tolle's (and many other's) suggestion to be the observer of thoughts and emotions from a state of presence, we put ourselves in a conscious state where alignment and connection to that larger reality naturally occurs. That state alignment offers an opportunity to observe, not just the thoughts and emotions, but the context in which they originate.

Here's something to consider about painful emotions: they are indicators that the way we are humanly perceiving the catalyst to the emotion is out of alignment with how its experienced from the larger reality of our true nature. An unconditionally loving nature does not judge events, conditions, and others, as we so often do through our humanly conditioned perspective. Emotional pain is a gift informing us that how we are perceiving conditions is misconstrued relative to a clearer larger perspective. Likewise, a sense and feeling of appreciation, is a good indicator that we are well aligned with that true nature.

There is no right or wrong here, only cause and effect. The good news is that this temporary human experience is designed this way. Contrast, of which emotional pain is an important element, is a primary fuel for the evolution of Consciousness.

So when considering the emotions you feel, ask yourself what it is you believe that makes you judge the connected events. Events that are out of alignment with the way such events are viewed from a larger more inclusive reality - a Reality that appreciates all experience for its contributions to the growth of Consciousness and Being.

Consider that the value of emotions is that they are guideposts that, clearly perceived, point us back towards alignment and the peace of mind that we would prefer.

WW

kungwu
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Re: Presence vs. Avoidance

Post by kungwu » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:20 pm

My direct experience of dissolving a very long lasting emotion of many years is this: completely willing to embrace and feel it and at the same time being aware of whatever thoughts or stories going along with it (being aware implies knowing they are just thoughts or stories, not really true). The experience was that it went through much faster, almost like a flash of fire burning a piece of paper. The unconditional love was felt deeply (in awe) as soon as the emotion was through...

.

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Re: Presence vs. Avoidance

Post by matt74ike » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:08 am

wonderer wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:59 pm
When alone, I worry that by focusing on my senses and how something is "not a problem" I am avoiding understanding, defusing, or fixing it.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about ET teachings. ET doesn't say that if you have a problem you need to stay present and realize that you don't have a problem. Be present AND solve your problems, be proactive. For example if you have financial problems then be present AND solve your finnacial problems. For many years I was using presence practice to avoid my problems. This is a road to hell.
Maciej
We know about ourselves
only what we've been tested
[Wislawa Szymborska, poet]

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