Run to discomfort

When we are uncomfortable, we tend to distract ourselves. Food, drink, sex, social media, and other thin desires. We distract ourselves from what the discomfort is telling us. Underneath the discomfort is a message. Sitting with the discomfort and listening to it seems to bring awareness.

Skillful or unskillful

A fact that is often glossed over in books on Buddhism is that there are two basic modes of conditionality, not just one: two ways in which we can act, one unskilful, the other skilful. The first is known as the circular or, in Sangharakshita’s term, reactive’ mode. This is the mode in which we operate for much of the time, and it is the cause of all our suffering. But there is also a spiral or creative’ mode, in which we can make spiritual progress, experience ever-expanding states of happiness and bliss. The more negative’ reactive mode usually gets far more consideration and exposition than the more positive creative mode.

Sangharakshita. Guide to the Buddhist Path. Windhorse Publications Ltd. Kindle Edition.

When I am in discomfort and tempted by distractions I will try and pause to ask if they are skillful or unskillful. I’ll try and ignore the unskillful and thin desires and replace them with a skilled way of acting. This, I beleive, is a way to run towards discomfort.

mini-mantra: It scares me, and it’s useful, so I have to do it.