Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sitting in Fire

     During meditation practice, we can experience extreme pain / suffering. The intensity can be such that it seems to surpass one individual's share of suffering, and may be an opening to processing our collective, human suffering. Perhaps holding it as a loving group effort is the only way one can bear it. Purging impurities from gold by fire comes to mind.

      "The heart of mindfulness is compassionate awareness able to hold and bear any experience without turning away, and without compulsively having to change the experience. Developing our capacity to 'sit in the fire' with our own suffering is very powerful. Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us that we need to remember to smile to our sorrow and to our pain because we are more that our sorrow or pain. Finding the courage to 'sit in the fire' also builds our confidence and compassion and strengthens us to be more wholeheartedly present with others who we care for when they are suffering."

Steve McCurry

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it seems to me that the single most significant element that gives suffering such power to foster doubt is the pervasive sense of isolation it creates -- I am alone in this experience therefore I am the wrong person, on the wrong path doing the wrong thing! Fire indeed!