"We are motivated more by aversion to the unpleasant than by a will toward truth, freedom, or healing. We are constantly attempting to escape our life, to avoid rather than enter our pain, and we wonder why it is so difficult to be fully alive." Stephen Levine
When thoughts arise, either at random or intentionally, do you observe and let go or do you magnify and interrogate them? How do you physically start to feel? Do emotions start to surface?
Meditation allows us to observe this process and become aware of it. We learn that we have a choice to respond instead of reacting. Perfection is non existent, therefore, there may be times that we do react. In these times, we will learn that we have the choice to respond with compassion so that we may forgive and redirect ourselves.
There are moments that will feel more profound than others but we shouldn't cling to these experiences nor magnify them. It is common to communicate these experiences and look forward to having similar ones but if we take a moment to observe, we can see that this is a cycle. In Buddhism, the cycle of suffering is called samsara. Samsara is led by ignorance, greed, hate, and aversion. Clinging to what is "good" may be seem as the better option, but if looked at more clearly, it is usually simply aversion. To clarify, aversion is a strong dislike or disinclination. Most living beings try to steer away from what they dislike. Suffering is definitely under this category. It is intelligent to respond to life by choosing the most beneficial options, as long as it is not rooted in the desire to have (craving) and the desire to not have (aversion). Looking a little deeper, we will see that what we have we will soon lose and undesirable circumstances in life are certain, therefore, suffering is inevitable.
To better understand this, it is important to understand clinging and acceptance in order to find a balance. It is ok to want, but when we cling to a desired outcome, it occupies the mind in such a way, that fully experiencing life and all its wonders in the present moment becomes impossible. Suffering also becomes present, which is the opposite of why we cling. We think we are doing what's best for us but in reality we usually aren't always aware of what's best for us. Now, let's turn over to acceptance. There is not one being in the world that does not want or feels desire. This feeling is ok and meditation gives it it the space to be just what it is; a thought and a feeling. We are aware that it isn't reality because it isn't what is occurring in the present moment, therefore, it isn't tangible. This understanding creates a space to respond with non clinging and letting go, accepting that it may or may not happen with an open heart and redirecting ourselves to the present moment.
Meditation is finding balance in the truth. Through this practice we are able to remove ourselves, over and over again, from the never ending cycle of samsara so that we may observe. This observation makes space for awareness to arise and gives us the ability to respond by choosing to answer with acceptance and an open heart or with resistance and heavy emotions. Suffering is a constant string in reality but suffering because of this truth is a choice that we may learn to let go of with the practice of meditation.