One of things that the recent history of eastern teachers coming to the west has left out is healing the heart. In eastern cultures, there is more community and a greater focus on relationship. In the west, there is a much stronger focus on individuality, especially in North America.
As a result, the flow of meditation and related practices to the west has created a bit of a gap for many practitioners. There is an assumption that meditation will take care of everything. And to some extent this is true. What it leaves out though is that we live in a culture that focuses on ego and conflict so we tend to continually reinvest in our story or issues. The effect of this is to retain our resistances. Rather than flowing, we resist. We experience stress. We cycle on the wheel of karma, repeating the same stories over and over when any similar experience comes up. And of course such behavior simply draws more of the same.
What we need to break this cycle is some emotional awareness. More consciousness around how we are feeling at any given moment. More allowing of our feelings, whatever they may be.
In talks I’ve been to by Dr. Brice Lipton and others, they recommend “energy psychology”. Basically techniques like Psych-K and EFT to become aware of and release these resistances. (Of course you want to avoid getting too stuck on the process . Rather look to the results) Psych-K has the advantage of helping to reveal the issues you face, but requires someone trained to do it. EFT is simpler and the basics can be learned for free. But it requires more emotional awareness to be aware of the background dynamic.
Whats worked well for me was a little trick mentioned in the movie, The Secret. The Gratitude Rock. The basic idea is that you carry a small rock around in your pocket with your keys. When you put it in and take it out each day and when you find it during the day, you think of something new to be grateful for. Over time, this cultures an attitude of gratitude. And then, I found moments of clarity when I could forgive. Where I could let go of old hurts I had been carrying. Things I didn’t know were still there. Things about pretty much every relationship I’d ever had.
The beauty of all this is that unlike some forms of therapy, you don’t have to regurgitate it all or relive it or anything. All you have to do is become aware off the issue and let go. Let the experience wash over you for a moment. Allow it. And then its gone.
Thats all it needs. Just allowing what has been resisted. And then its really gone. The burden lifts. A bit of the fog clears.
Over time, you can peel back the layers of the onion. It may sometimes seem it is never ending. But periodically you will release something key and that “loop”, that story, will stop playing. The repeating wheel is stopped.
And then at some point you will reach a place of greater clarity and the heart will open, large and strong. Much of the story will be over and the complaints die away. And a new richness and fullness will become the norm for your life.
That is the gift of our time. That the clarity is enough that we can do this work and find our own inner peace and happiness.