Oakville Zen Meditation

#346: Suffering: a mental hbit May 09 21

                                                                        Suffering: a mental habit

Apart from external painful events, suffering is a self-generated mental habit: doubt, guilt, shame, resentment, regrets, anger, fear, frustration, blame, I want, I don’t want  and many more.

This mental habit is affecting not only you but also others and these persons may impose their mental habit on you.

A common painful mental habit is, quite often, our own judgments about self and others and

the judgment of others causing pain to themselves and us.

It is very hard to stop our own double judging habit and it is even harder for us to help others stop their judgment.

Judging more consciously, less automatically, gives us the opportunity to be more compassionate

to self but also to others.

The practice to apply only decisional judgment should help but it takes time and effort and mindfulness meditation should help.

Either way, we are the ones who suffer from those feelings, so we need to create mindful habit to disconnect ourselves from this mental habit of automatic judging.

Another painful mental habits are guilt and blame.

They are alike because when we feel guilty we blame ourselves, and when we cast blame, we also assign guilt to others. Whether we accept or assign blame, we fuel negative feelings either about ourselves or another person or both. What a mess!

Pride and shame are the polar ends of the ego spectrum. They are also painful mental habit.

This spectrum represents our basic evaluation of ourselves in our relative world.

In this relative world, we are better or worse depending on our situation and how we are using pride and shame to rank ourselves among each other.

We even compare ourselves to other imaginative versions of ourselves, sort of mental avatar, comparing who we think we are to who we want to be or should nor be.

That ranking system, which is mostly unconscious and fluctuates widely with our moods, causes a lot of suffering and feeds into all kinds of judgments, leading to more guilt, shame, pride, and blame. Another self-inflecting catch 22 scenario.

Practicing mindfulness awareness of our detrimental mental habits starts by practicing mindfulness meditation because, while meditating, we learn to practice conscious awareness on our breathing.

When you bring your attention to your breath, you become present and aware.

Also, once a while, practice self-compassion that is remember your basic goodness.

Your basic goodness means that you don’t want to self induce suffering  nor cause suffering.

Negative feelings are strong habits that will always find new and creative ways to invade themselves in our emotional mind.

Practicing mindfulness during meditation and on the go will not make our negative mental habit

go away, but it will slow them down some how and even stop them from keeping you slave of your painful self-talk.