When we find ourselves stewing on the cushion, caught in “proliferations” of difficult, negative thoughts and feelings, it can be tempting to stew all the harder, ruminating on all the imagined wrongs in life, feeling more and more uncomfortable, and disappointed or frustrated in ourselves, or in our neighbors, or our nearest and dearest. Or perhaps in our practice itself. Wasn’t it meant to help? Isn’t it supposed to deliver peace and joy and all that?
Or else we may be tempted to check out. I’m out of here — on whatever daydreams or day-torments we feel like romping off on. In some cases that can even mean to check out altogether — damn it, it’s not delivering as I’d like, I’m out of here.
Usually, in the end, these kinds of challenges are not really all that complex. They generally boil down to an uncomfortable sensation somewhere in the trunk of the body.
A tightness, a tension, a density, a heaviness, an agitation. If we explore the inner space of the torso, often in the end we may find some subtle trace of sensation that turns out to have been related to our annoyance, disappointment, boredom, frustration, etc. Our stewing. Once we recognise it, things will start to get better. We’re back on the wholesome path. The same old tools still apply: awareness and acceptance. To be aware of what’s going on, and to accept it, allow it, whole-heartedly. The rest is music.