I probably shouldn’t be writing a mediation post, as so far I’ve managed all of 5 minutes, and those 5 minutes are interrupted with movement. But today during those 5 minutes I managed to step outside of my thoughts and look at all the shame seething around them.
Per Pema Chodron’s instructions, I tried to breathe in that shame – not escape it, and not exacerbate it, but really let myself feel it just as it is, think about all the people in the world who have the same struggles. Breathe in all their suffering, and breathe out peace and healing. It was painful but not much more painful than not doing it, when it comes down to it. I don’t know if it helped, but its interesting to think about ‘going against the grain’ of my instinct to pursue pleasure and avoid pain, to hoard good things for myself and deny others. I also tried to stay clear about the transitory nature of my thoughts and feelings – I can let it go, I don’t have to make it into a story. I can be open to change.
Then I went for a little walk and thought about how my shame spiraling into sheer panic has affected my ability to be in crowds, to serve the public, and to navigate perceived judgement or inferiority/superiority, or even intense feelings of love or gratitude. What if, instead of spinning out about my own shame, I try to think about everyone else in the room who might be feeling shame for the same or other reasons? What if I think of their pain as my own? What if, instead of freaking out, I try to soothe that suffering?
Anyways, its food for thought.