Notice how diffIcult it is when you’re trying to resist things all the time, trying to get rid of bad thoughts, of emotional states, of pain. What is the result of resisting? When I try to get rid of what I don’t like in my mind, I become obsessed by it. What about you? Think of somebody you can’t stand, someone who hurts your feelings: conditions of feeling angry and resentful with that particular person obsess the mind. We can make a big deal out of it – pushing, pushing, pushing. And the more we push, the more obsessed we become.
Try this out in your meditation. Notice what you don’t like, don’t want, hate, or are frightened of. When you resist these things, you’re actually empowering them, giving them tremendous influence and power over your conscious experience of life. But when you welcome the flow of life, and open up to both its good and bad aspects, what happens? I know from my experience that when I’m accepting and welcoming of conditioned experience, things drop away from me. They come in and they go away. We’re opening the door, letting in all the fear, anxiety, worry, resentment, anger and grief. This doesn’t mean we have to approve of it or like what’s happening. It’s not about making moral judgements. It’s simply about acknowledging the presence of whatever we’re experiencing in a welcoming way – not trying to get rid of it by resisting it, not holding on to it or identifying with it. When we’re totally accepting of something as it exists in the present, then we can begin to recognize the cessation of those conditions.
These reflections from Ajahn Sumedho are from the book, Intuitive Awareness, p. 136.