This is something that is quite close to my heart. While browsing Reddit the other day, I came across an article on the dark side of meditation. Now, this is something that I had talked about some years ago, well prior to rebooting my blog. It’s something I came across when I realised that my meditation practise was releasing repressed anger. This manifested as moment of rage during my practise, but in daily life as a tendency to get very internally angry about old events or events that really don’t warrant it.
Of course, the vast majority of events we lose our tempers over aren’t worth it. The vast majority of things we consider to be “must haves” are really nothing of the sort. It’s useful to have this sort of perspective, which is the kind of perspective that I find Buddhist practise has helped give me. The other perspective is the knowledge that any Taoist would point out, every Yin has a Yang. Meditation is a wonderful thing, like nothing else on Earth; but that Yin has a Yang. It’s not just for relaxation, I’ve the effects once described as “the wings of transformation”. That’s apt. It’s also something that’s under emphasised in my view in the current seeming mindfulness craze.
Meditation starts you on a journey and not all of the places on that journey are sweetness and bliss. When you grow in awareness, you get more awareness of everything, not just the good places, but the bad too. As an analogy, imagine a stream. It starts in the mountains and works it way towards the sea. Along the way there are rapids, shallows and waterfalls; but also sedate stretches and beautiful scenery. The stream is us. We have to pass through all of these things on our journey to the ocean, they were always there, we just aren’t aware of them till we get to them.
I’ve found that the trick to dealing with the rough parts, is to realise that this is a section of the journey, not its end.