Message from Henry: Don’t Stew and Don’t Check Out (revisited)

There is a treasure trove of discovery to be made … the very obstacle will surely turn into the path itself.

If you’re sitting there stewing on the cushion, don’t check out. And if you’ve checked out, check back in!

Just because you may be feeling bored during a sit, don’t think: there’s no point doing this, I’ll check out, whether physically or mentally. Either way, we’re missing the point of practice – which is to be with what is arising.  To not check out, regardless.

If we’re bored, it’s a golden opportunity to study boredom and learn from it. What actually is boredom, as an experience in the body and mind: some interesting mixture of resistance, restlessness, resentment maybe, and desire, aversion, doubt, pain? Find out what does boredom actually want. Or not want. Where is it in the body? What does it feel like? What are the cues that tell you you’re bored?

Likewise if something has you feeling irritated: don’t just stew. Check it out. What is it, to feel irritated? Where is that in the body? What does it feel like? There is a treasure trove of discovery to be made, if only we just trust the basic premise of practice, which is to accept and allow whatever is arising, to be with it, and investigate it with as much curiosity and openness as we can muster at the time.

If you feel like giving up, or checking out, or stewing – find that urge or inclination, and experience it just as it is. Then the very obstacle will surely turn into the path itselfAnd you just might save yourself years – even decades – of wasted time. It’s not unknown for people to check out and drop practice for a day or two, a week or two, and next thing they know, twenty years have gone by.

Message from Henry is from our March 11, 2019 Newsletter.
Image: Happy girl by Yuliya Harbachova,  CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay.com
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