Most of my posts here have been about dealing with feeling down, feeling as though the world is against me and that there is no gap in the negative black wall around me. If you’ve read one post, you may glance at another, but I don’t imagine for one moment that it is a thrill-a-minute read.
Oddly, it is as though I am attached to these dark emotions. I am willing to follow either a long sad story of future bad things that may happen to me or replay an unhappy past event over and over. When trying to use meditation to overcome some of the difficulties I have recently faced, I have been attempting to follow Pema Chodron’s technique of noticing the out breath When I find myself distracted, I try to gently notice this, say to myself as kindly as possible “thinking” and, with precision, return to lightly concentrating on the out breath again.
Last week though, after a real struggle in one part of my life, there was an upturn. I was complimented and appreciation was shown for (what I think were the considerable) efforts I had put in to fit in with what was required. At last I felt more valued, more worthy and even successful. I drove home shouting and screaming my delight in the car.
But if the way to cope with this dark mind is to gently let go, then also it must mean the way to manage the happier mind is exactly the same. I have kept telling myself those bad feelings are temporary, well it must also be that the more joyful ones too. Meditation is not for just the bad times. It is not just a replacement for those people not willing to take the happy pills. Its power lies in being able to transcend this mundane good and bad, happy and sad split that we all feel trapped by.
Which means just because I am happier at the moment than 2 weeks ago, I am not going to stop meditating!