Without Selecting

by Friends of Godwin


We are repressing, pushing away, denying, not looking at unpleasant experiences. So we have this kind of duality, that meditation, spiritual life, is having pleasant experiences and that we should not have unpleasant experiences: a battle, a split, a division, a duality.

I would suggest – please don’t be surprised – that the pleasant experiences are not so important, what are more important are the unpleasant experiences, because there is no problem with pleasant experiences. The problem is with the unpleasant experiences, and we don’t realise that by repressing, by pushing them away, by not looking at them we give them more power. So it’s a kind of vicious circle, it’s a kind of dependent origination: how one thing is leading to another, and how it is leading to suffering. This is why I have been emphasising so much to be open to unpleasant experiences; let them arise, don’t push them away. The power that we have given them by repressing them and by pushing them away because we are afraid of them, when you take away that power you’ll realise that they are no problem.

In a way you can relate this to some of the exercises I gave in relation to nature. Seeing things very sharply, seeing things very clearly, because when you learn to observe external things very clearly then you learn to see everything, all the things that you can see, the pleasant ones, the unpleasant ones, you just notice whatever there is without exclusion, without selecting.