Embodied Presence (Part 2) - Planting our Roots in the Universe - Working with Pain

Tara Brach


There's a story about a Buddhist master pastor who was asked how come he meditated and his response was to see the tiny purple flowers by the side of the road. I say walk to town each day and that to me uses beautiful a reason any our last talk car for the last live talk was on embodied presence. How this waking up to the life of our body coming home to the aliveness of our senses really is the gateway to everything we long before we can really wake up in our bodies we can wake up to our cart art loving and we can wake up to our full wisdom and so what I'd like to do is continue that this will be part two and what what we'll do is we'll look at both the challenges of waking up in our bodies and also the gifts and as we explored a couple of weeks ago one Buddhist master put it really well when he was asked to describe the world has response was lost in fought and there? We go when we look back on. Today it's pretty easy to sense how much we're in that trance manse that kind of virtual reality of of thoughts and often. It's easy to see. In retrospect how little we were actually awake in our bodies and our senses and we know that's the way it goes that we spend a lotta time not only in thoughts in thought sick at us tight like worry the thoughts and like judging thought and like planning when we don't need to keep planning or rehearsing we don't need to rehearse type thoughts so we see that we spend time in those kind of virtual realms than we're not so often aware of the life that's here and this is true even even when we get sometimes into our contemplacion's of the spiritual mysteries or one step removed from from full here nece one of my favorite of this end stories of a young monk who who asked the Abbot of the monastery will what happens after we die and the APP. It said I don't know and the monk was kind of alarm armed said but I thought you were a zen master and his response was I and but not a dead one and so it's a really interesting inquiry about the role of thoughts because we need them to survive and flourish and they do service on the spiritual path and were dictated to our thoughts. We get lost in thoughts. That don't serve us as we well know. And and in the deepest way if we don't know how to step out of this ongoing conceptualizing we can't really contact contact directly the reality that's here. We can't truth directly when we can't get out of thoughts we can't it feel the fullness of love when we're really wide open 'cause thoughts create a matrix where there's a self and other and a sense of separation so we I need to wake up at of our thoughts and the challenges and here's the bottom line challenge that when we wake up out of thoughts and come into our bodies were coming being into the wilderness. Because we're coming into the domain where it can fuel raw and we're there commune intensity of pleasure and unpleasant S. Yes and pain and so there's this inner weather systems we can't control them. We're just if we're opening to our bodies we're just feeling what's there and it's much easier to remove ourselves and stay in the mental control tower. We dissociate I was love. George Carlin's as he says I'm not into working out. My motto is no pain no pain and the reality is we. Don't like hanging out with pain. You know we want to fix it or get away from it in some way so we'll look at together a how we can practice when we do have physical or emotional pain. We'll look at that some and and I'm curious how many of you have noticed when you started meditating that you do find. You have a lot of pain that you're working with. Can I see by hands chiefs. So there's a lot of us for those of you. That are watching. That was probably fifty percent and and that's just like right now. Now are a lot of pain. All of US experienced pain at some time or rather I can save for myself that I've had my reasonable ables share. I had a period where had pretty ongoing chronic pain for about six years sometimes acute not always acute chronic chronic which can be exhausting and of course I know many people that have had it way worse but I know what it's like to sit down to meditate and everything in me is going. I don't WanNa be feeling this. You know I just don't want to sit with us. So if Meditation Means Waking Up to the Yuckiness that we're filling in a body. Obviously we're not GONNA be that drawn to it. So let's. Let's look at this but I wanna I emphasize besides that even when we're not experiencing chronic or acute pain are default and this is built into your brains are default setting when there's any kind of stress at all and that's a lot of the time is to leave our bodies we immediately go to how control things and fix things and we leave our bodies and you might have noticed that the more stress do you get. I always liken this to riding a bicycle physical and we're riding away from presence in the more stress we get the faster were peddling to kind of get somewhere and do something and fix something and then with there's that sense there's not enough time you notice that one. How often we feel? There's not enough time. So we leave Steve and relieve even when there's just ordinary unease we leave our bodies and we kind of go into. We'll go into that kind of some habit of the mind or behavior. Take us away from that discomfort. Some years ago I read a story that was called by a doctor who is the OBGYN and he described when he was very very new in practice. How I'm he was gotten really nervous and self conscious when he was doing pelvic exams for women? It really made them uncomfortable comfortable so he developed this kind of unconscious habit of whistling when he was doing the exams and one day describes her one he was doing doing exam on one woman and she started giggling and then she started laughing and he said Oh. What's wrong in my tickling? You and she said Oh. No no doctor. But what you're whistling is. I wish I were an Oscar. Mayer Leaner so we leave we we get into our habits and some of them are more Some of them cause more harm. Some of them don't cause harm but the deal is the more more intense artists comfort the more fully we dissociate and when I say that we as a society were associated with the more that we are struggling with war or with natural disasters with societal oppression like racism that it creates a feeling of unsafe to be in this body. I remember Tanya how she coats put so powerfully. How being African American and this country means it is unsafe to be in your body so rather than stay with that and the same thing with our personal life so many any of experienced abuse really deep wounding and very early on this is our our survival mechanism we leave the site where it feels most uncontrollable and painful? So let's look at what happens when we leave. What happens when we dissociate and I look at it like we all are somewhat associated and we all know we get lost in virtual reality and forget to be here but what happens what happens when we leave the aliveness sits here and one? There's unprocessed fear when there's vulnerability that we have an attended two or one thing is fatigue because it takes energy to maintain association.

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