This week I was reading a new book, True Belonging, by a well know mindfulness teacher Jeffrey Brantley. He has also written one of my favourite books called Calming Your Anxious Mind.
I tried one of the exercises in his new book and I found it very powerful. He introduces the exercise by saying that it is very easy to get caught up by habiual interior reactions when something stresses us. These can be unpleasant like the experience of fear, worry, sadness, or pain among others. When this type of experience surfaces it is quite common for the mind to demand that something be different. For me, I often will have the feeling of starting to struggle inwardly as I would prefer to not have these emotions. In my experience, the struggle only makes the experience more difficult and it can lead to the experience of ill will and aversion both internally and externally. He argues that you need to “shine the light of mindfulness” on these dynamics if you want to find some freedom from them, rather than being caught up in the stress.
The exercise goes like this…..During a practice of meditation and when you notice either aspects of your external world or internal world, you don’t have to do anything other than to notice them and acknowledge their presence with acceptance. You can use phrases like “it’s like this” and “yes” to help you accept that this is your experience in the moment. For example, let’s say frustration surfaces in the meditation. You can acknowledge it by saying to yourself “it is like this…..yes, it is here”.
This stopping and noticing will reduce the chance you having the feeling of being caught up in the stress reaction. Through acceptance of the reaction helps one to move through the emotion and to restore a sense of inner balance. If any action is to be taken, you can take it later. Try it for yourself! - See more at: http://practicalwellbeing.ca/blog/page/28/#sthash.KGnTvBpE.dpuf