Food choices - what and from where? - There has been a sharp rise in the number of products labelled 'organic' and 'free range' on supermarket shelves in the past few years. Often I am asked if...
3 days ago
Robina Courtin:So it's not, as I previously thought, aiming at just repressing all the suffering to attain the feel-good states of meditation. It's actually about digging deep into your heart, deconstructing the underlying causes of the pain (more often than not some kind of fear, if you dig deep enough), and then letting it go. So it totally acknowledges the growth and learning that suffering brings, and the analysis required to get there. I think the actual problem was that my understanding was limited, and that my own practice at the time was probably about desperately clinging to the bliss. When I think back, my life was such a mess back then, and I was going through so much pain every day, that I kind of became addicted to the blissful states I achieved through meditation, and began to cling to them. I didn't know how not to. For me back then, it would have been like asking a drowning person to not cling to the rope being offered to them. Or that's how it seemed. And one of the main lessons in Buddhism is to not cling. To not crave. No craving, no aversion, one of the most important phrases you'll hear at a Vipassana retreat!
So therefore the Buddhist method then of getting rid of suffering and developing happiness is the method of learning—one, to know my mind well, and then learning through familiarity on the basis of having Buddha's model of the mind as my basis, learning to identify ever more deeply the neuroses and then learning every day—and it's the hardest job we'll ever do—to go against them, to deconstruct them, to let go of them.