Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our addiction to feeling good

Listen, I like to feel good as much as the next person. But feeling good is not what meditation is all about. And if we don't feel good (for whatever reason) that doesn't mean our meditation is "not working".

Here's something about mindfulness I found that speaks to this:
Mindfulness is an impartial watchfulness. It does not take sides. It does not get hung up in what is perceived. It just perceives. Mind­fulness does not get infatuated with the good mental states. It does not try to sidestep the bad mental states. There is no clinging to the pleasant, no fleeing from the unpleasant. Mindfulness treats all expe­riences equally, all thoughts equally, all feelings equally. Nothing is suppressed. Nothing is repressed. Mindfulness does not play favorites.
I would say, then, that a fundamental aspect of mindfulness has to do with the cultivation of distress tolerance. That's very different from the attachment to making distress go away.

The above paragraph is quoted from an article called "Mindfulness" by Bhante Gunaratana.

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