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Experience x Resistance = Tension

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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.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

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.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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