This is an older post, but worth re-reading! You can find so many writings posted over the last four years over on the sidebar under “Complete Blog Index.”
It was a quiet weekend for this avid indoors gal. I call it “spelunking time.”
Those of you who know that term—sometimes called “caving”—know it’s an outdoors term used when you go explore deep underground caves. For the indoors, it’s deep exportation of old emotional and psychic patterns. Old bits that, if left unattended, can wreck havoc to the system. But it’s winter; the cold air has come, it’s storm season, and it’s a great time to go inside to do some indoor spelunking.
Repressed emotions do not go away. They do not disappear with time. Instead, they get buried and then reactivate at the next great obstacle. (“My partner and I broke up and suddenly I feel like I am five again when my father walked out.”)
Neither do they vanish when we are present and still, although I recognize that this myth is wildly projected. However, this is a myth. A myth that we love to hope for. (“If I was enlightened I would never feel pain again!”)
Repressed emotions tend to resurface from their buried homes in the body, and often comes up to be healed when we get still and present. You may have noticed this, but perhaps you decided this was because you were not enlightened enough, or because when you look at the teachers, it was projected that they don’t experience any pain, and the myth continued. (“Real enlightenment is this painless, past-less, harm-free state.”)
In the post-enlightenment experience, there is simply no “person” to mind the pain, and it’s free to arise. For me, this weekend, it was really yummy to slow the world down and be still and fish out those bits of old emotion…welcome winter, welcome downtime, welcome dark nights! I recognize that some enlightened folks hang out in the spacious mind, and see the spaciousness in all form and never really touch form much. Others, like myself, find such a love and intimacy with the forms that they are all welcome and savored and “ordinary life” is lived fully on. Regardless, there is no space, enlightened or not, where pain does not arise. (Well, perhaps it’s different for a very, very few…and not solely because they are “enlightened” mind you. See the exceptions in the footnote.)
It is however, the suffering that rarely occurs. The suffering is the resistance to the arising of emotion, repressing it down into the system. Resistance to what’s going on is suffering. This is different than pure emotion arising. Suffering is the resistance to the arising of the form, or say, whatever emotions may be coming up—old repressed ones or simply the present emotions that are responses to stimuli. Resistance is primarily what an ego is made of. Egos suffer. No ego, very little suffering. No ego, all is welcome to arise. (And this includes pain.)
Now I recommend this spelunking practice to everyone. Winter has arrived—trees wither, cold air pushes us inside—time for the dark nights. (Dark nights of the soul are also welcome.) I fully recommend some spelunking time to root out those old repressed emotions that need some liberation, and are an essential part of your path towards total liberation.
Bring those old pains up to the light. Liberate the repressed pain. Hallelujah!
Also, doing this voluntarily can save you hundreds of dollars at the chiropractor and the oncologist. Pick up some tissues on sale during this season and have your self a quiet bit of downtime. Happy spelunking!
Footnote: There are some humans who are an exception to the “pain arises for everyone” rule. These people are vastly pain free… I call them Kharmic Light. They are: 1) usually born in a first world country, AND 2) had wonderful parents and a trauma free early life AND 3) came to full conscious awakenings early on, before the age of 30. It that is you, awesome—skip this lesson, you and the 5 others on the planet don’t have to worry about this at all.