Thursday, November 17, 2011

The paradox of no change

I started this blog as an investigation of how I would change after six months of daily practice. But today I wonder if the most profound change I could undergo might be to lose this craving for self-improvement.

Reading last night about the concept of maitri, self-acceptance in Buddhist talk. A large part of meditation is being able to accept the source energies beneath our proliferating negative thoughts. Can I stand with my boredom, my loneliness, my self-loathing and not seek to eradicate these things. Just be with them.

I tried this morning, and an interesting thing happened. I felt the paradox of accepting my self-hatred. I felt what it felt like to be unconditionally loved by myself, even when I didn't love myself. Eventually the pleasant magnetic energy of standing took over. But when distractions came back, as they inevitably do, I was more easily able to deal with them, when I followed them back to the painful energy beneath them, and just stood in it. Just felt them like knots in my bark. Just part of who I am. No big deal.

So much of self-improvement is self loathing. So much of that industry is an exploitation of self loathing. To just be with ourselves, just accepting this self-loathing as a part of us--for today, or for however long, may be the most liberating change that we can take.