This took me a long, long, long time to learn and will surely take only a moment to say here. Tension causes a huge number of physical ailments and confronting yucky feelings can help release tension.
How do we do that? The mind wants a quick trick, a fast way to be better. But this is A Process Thing. And when we get frustrated with the imperfection of the process, more tension results.
In mindfulness practice, we are urged to be friendly toward each moment, whatever it brings. This flies in the face of what the ego was designed to do, which is to defend us against pain. The way that we build health is by repeatedly facing whatever triggers annoyance, anger, irritation, even rage and lean into it with curiosity.
Sometimes this feels simply impossible. Wearying. Once, Suzuki Roshi said life was impossible. A student asked, ‘then how do we do it?’ to which the Zen teacher said, “You do it every day.” To which I would add, every moment, as best you can, every day.
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