Rupert Spira – Exploring Uncomfortable Feelings
I know that I have been running away from unwanted feelings my whole life. “My” story is that some feelings are too intense to really allow, and that they may destroy me if I let them take me over.
I know that is a silly story but maybe I picked up that commentary when I was too young to look at things logically.
I don’t know how it happen or even care how, but I do know that suppressing or repressing unwanted feelings has never solved anything my whole life. And actually suppressing and repressing has led to a zillion dysfunctional strategies to cope with these “overwhelming” sensations.
Now, awakening to non-duality, and even through basic common sense, there is a knowing at a deep level that these feelings will not destroy me. Now it is high time to look the ‘boogey man’ straight in the face.
This video from Rupert Spira gives us two specific strategies for what to do when the “boogy man’ appears.
4:57 “What the feeling is asking you do to is to avoid it, or suppress it. So don’t do either. Do the opposite. Turn around and face it.
Let the feeling come totally to you…face it so fully that you can keep facing it, keep living with the feeling.
Opening yourself to the feeling until you can truly say that there is not the slightest resistance to it.
And you have to be very careful because of course the separate self will turn even this into a technique for getting rid of the feeling. In other words (the separate self is) allowing the feeling so that I can get rid of it. That’s not allowing the feeling.
So you have to really take time and check with yourself that the feeling is being allowed without the slightest resistance to it.
And the test of that is (ask yourself), ‘can I live with this feeling forever?’ You have to be able to answer YES to that question.
When you can answer yes, honestly to that question you know that there is no resistance to it. Then turn around and look at the feeling again and see what remains of it.”
6:42 “So that’s one approach. That approach goes directly to the feeling.
Another approach would be to explore the separate self around whom the feeling revolves.
Because the feeling is always a sensation in the body plus a line of thinking, and that line of thinking always has the separate self as the main character…
Let’s say there is a feeling of sorrow. It will be felt here (chest), or it will be felt here (sternum). It will have a bodily component to it. But there will also be an accompanying commentary that revolves around a separate me character.
So the first thing to do in this case is explore that separate I. Go towards your self…Discover if that separate self is really present, is it really what you are (Go to I before form).
If you go to the feeling of I am, do you really feel a separate limited located awareness? Or do you find ever present unlimited being?
In this way you’re exploring the thought aspect of the feeling. The feeling has a bodily aspect and a thought aspect. You are exploring the thought aspect that revolves around the separate I.
Now having discovered that the separate I is non-existent, the whole story that was revolving around it, it can no longer stand.
Then you are just left with the sensation in the body. This wave of sensation that was part of the sad feeling.
The you explore the sensation…you just go to the raw sensation and you explore it.
And that exploration…although we don’t realize it when we are doing it, we are actually flushing out the me feeling from the body.
Seeing that the body is just transparent vibration permeated with empty knowing.”
After writing this post I realized that running away from unwanted feelings is not a loving act towards myself/sensations. There is understanding that a feeling is just like anything else and that running away, or hiding from unwanted feelings is not a kind act.
Basically I have rejected unwanted feelings. How can love shine through when there are acts of rejection and separation from ‘unwanted’ sensations? Crazy.