Thursday, June 16, 2011
Our fair share of frustrations in life
This is one of my many favorite Charlie Brown cartoons. The thing is after so many years, I am still seeing many Lucys walking around (no gender prejudice intended). Yes, it makes our stomach cramped, and I can very much see Charlie Brown in me. Don't misunderstand, I'm not blaming the Lucys of this world, after all it is Charlie Brown who initiated the discussion!
When we do meditation (standing or seated), sometimes images keeping popping up in our mind despite our best intention of being understanding to Lucy's mentality and our best wishes to put the memory aside for a while. Seasoned meditators can overcome such obstacle after a short while through breath control and focus on chi-movement. Beginning meditators sometimes find it totally impossible starting their session. The worst thing is, oftentimes the reason why one chooses to meditate is because of such frustration, and now frustration is blocking one from doing meditation!
When a driver wants to stop his car, he will slowly decelerate first, rather than stepping hard on the brake, unless in case of emergency. After the car has been slowed down, the driver will apply the brake. It is the same with frustration management.
When one's mind is full of frustrating images, the first step is to decelerate, i.e. avoid possible frustrating situations that may stimulate one's senses. The old wisdom does work: See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. That is why monks and Taoists seeking a higher level of spirituality like to live a sedentary life away from the public (i.e. avoid meeting Lucys, again no gender bias intended). After some period of time (say, a day, a week, or a month), a new meditator can start his session of meditation without frustration.
Good luck with your meditation.