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Experience x Resistance = Tension

Cory Muscara



Cory Muscara



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Experience x Resistance = Tension

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to

your Daily Mindfulness.

In today's session, we're going to

talk about the experience of tension.

So I'm going to offer you a

quick formula to think about

how tension can get created.

And then this formula is, experience

times resistance equals tension.

Experience times

resistance equals tension.

Now, the first thing I want to say about

this is that we're talking about internal

experience, not external experience.

There's a role for resistance

against external experience that

we can very logically justify.

Resisting things that we're seeing

around us, maybe a relationship

that we're not being treated well or

something we see systemically that

needs to change, resisting these things

is an important way that we grow as

individuals in relationship and as a

community and as a global community.

So that's not the resistance

I'm talking about.

The resistance I'm talking

about is the one that we apply

to our internal experience.

The emotions that we're feeling,

the thoughts that we're having, the

sensations that might be arising,

or any sort of sensory experience.

When we apply resistance to that,

that's when we're going to get an

internal experience of tension.

So if you think of an experience

of sadness, that would be the

experience in this equation.

Resistance to that sadness could be

something like, I shouldn't be feeling

this, what's wrong with me for feeling

this, or trying to suppress the sadness.

There's a role for skillfully

compartmentalizing experiences at times

when maybe it's not the appropriate

time to feel that emotion fully.

But there's a way to do that

gracefully, where we can acknowledge

that this experience is here and

then say, I'm going to work with

this later, but not right now.

That's very different than I

shouldn't be having this experience.

What often happens for people is that

they develop all of these different

ideas and stories about experiences

they can have and shouldn't have,

experiences that are okay and experiences

that they might put shame around.

And all of that shame and all of

those ideas about I shouldn't have

this experience is a form of internal

resistance that creates excess

tension that can arise in a moment,

but can also continue and sustain

itself for long periods of time.

So as you go about your day today and

perhaps for the rest of the week, and

maybe for the rest of your life, I

encourage you to look at, what is your

relationship to your internal experience?

Chances are there's lots there

that you have full permission to

feel, lots there that feels open,

spacious, good, compassionate.

But maybe some other experiences

that you find yourself contracting

around, fighting, pushing away.

And what would it look like to meet those

experiences with a little more openness,

curiosity, presence, and even compassion?

There's a good argument to be made

that there's no experience that can

arise in your internal, internal

experience that doesn't warrant some

degree of compassion and presence.

It doesn't mean you have to give it

full reign, but you can at least give

it the space within yourself to be

seen, to be acknowledged and then to

be responded to in a skillful way.

So I hope this gives you

something to think about in your

journey of navigating tension.

We'll continue to work with it as we

go throughout our meditation practice.

Thank you for your practice and let's

settle in for today's meditation.

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