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During the 3 dignities retreat at DCL Sarah Coleman gave us meditation instruction which involved emphasizing curiosity and openess. What stuck in my mind was how she described it - whatever we experienced, we should great it with “Oh, how interesting!” (I’ll see if I can find it in the recording it and post it, the tone of the voice is important). See you’re beating yourself up? “Oh, how interesting! What is this? ” See you’ve been completely lost for the whole session - “oh, how interesting!” hehe, well, you get the point.
So, this evening I realized I was not feeling so great, in fact, it felt pretty crappy. But it did so in quite a familiar way. So, I remembered this instruction and became curios. Hmm, what is this? What kind of space is this? How does this trap work?
I realized it a big part of being in that space, is that i’m completely paralyzed. Whatever I think of doing next, I somehow manage to cancel it. Like, hmm, I should write about this in my blog. Naah, I can’t write. Perhaps I should sit. Naah, can’t sit. But there was something else too. At the end of these thoughts, there was something that felt like clamping down. I got a hing of something else, but I couldn’t see it.
Hmm, how interesting! ;-) So, again it comes, perhaps I can at least make a list of what I want to do tomorrow. Naah, can’t do that. And the whiff was stronger, and it was a whiff of self-hate. You’re not good anyway, why bother. You’ll never write anything worthwhile. Why bother sitting? And the clamping down is an interesting thing that I do - self hate is bad, i don’t like it, so i try to not see it, because the story goes, that recognizing that i have self hate, is further proof that self hate is right, and how completely messed up I am. A teacher once described this as ego pointing at itself, and saying, see, this is proof how worthless you are! ;-)

Hmm, interesting indeed!
I still don’t know all the steps to this setup, but it’s interesting to try to map the process. Cheri Huber calls this making a map of your suffering. Hmm, perhaps it would be good to actually make a map. Naah, can’t be bothered. ;-)
it’s persistent. it makes me feel completely stuck and bad about myself. It blocks any attempts at getting out. it wants me to suffer, because then it is in control. what is it? well, we could call it ego, or just very persistant, deeply rooted habitual patterns, and when you look at there’s really not much to it. But it does appear very real, and definitely wields a lot of power over my life. Being curious about it, bringing this “how interesting!” attitude seems to be the best way of dismantling it.