Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jealousy and Meditation

A couple of months ago we had a discussion about jealousy in our Buddhism class. As I reflected on this I thought, "Hmmm...I can't think of anyone or anything I'm jealous of."

This statement alone explains why meditation can be so very important to personal growth. I have a strained relationship in my life that I have been trying to figure out. I have been meditating on it, giving it my complete focus during meditation (or at least, as much as I can keep my mind focused - quite a challenge!).  During meditation this week, I have gained a great deal of insight into why I feel this strain in the relationship.  I'm jealous!

When I began my meditations with this focus, I found that it was even more difficult to keep my mind focused on my intention.  I thought remaining focused on the breath was a challenge!  Nope, try keeping focus on something you've hidden from yourself for so long!

When the first thought began to arise for examination as to why I feel the way I do, I was genuinely surprised as to what it was.  The first day, I got a glimpse that it had to do with a perception of lack of support.  Okay, that was good to ponder and I was able to fairly easily understand where this feeling came from.  On the second day, the jealousy thought began to bubble up.  When I thought it, I was even more surprised.  As I reached out to grab hold of the thought and began to expand upon it and examine it, there were suddenly a crowd of thoughts pushing in front of it, trying to grab my attention.  "No!  Me! Me! Look at me!  It's much more important that you think about this idea for the meditation group".  I felt as if I were being sucked into quick sand with my fingers slipping as I tried to hang onto that branch that would keep my head above ground.

I hung on, clinging, grabbing the thought while pushing the others aside.  I grabbed hold of it and pulled it up to my single point of awareness.  This thought appears to be the root of this perception.

Now that I understand better, what do I do about it?  I know that I will be continuing my examination of these realizations so I can come to a sound decision as to what I should do about these feelings and how to re-program them.  It will also mean rebuilding the relationship without the perceptions that have dirtied it to this point. 

This is just one example of the many where meditation can be so very important!  Have you had any such experiences during meditation?  Please share your experiences by commenting on this post.  (You can post anonymously if that makes you more comfortable.)

"The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves."
    -- William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693

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