Be Kind Towards Oneself

Charles Pratt, 1965 - Roxbury, Conn. (Leaves)
Charles Pratt, Leaves, 1965

I think it is the human situation to be prone to distraction or to be self-deprecating when things are not what we expect. It is how we are.

It’s an interesting study – our situation. I see that my mind wants things to be a certain way. My body, on the other hand, isn’t interested in what my mind wants, it desires other things like certain foods, sex or to just be lazy. So how can I expect it to listen to the demands of my mind?

I need to be in a relationship with my body. I need it to by my ally. For a long time my body resisted my efforts at meditation, often by producing tensions in the organism. Now it has realized that it gets something out of it, mainly relaxation, so it cooperates.

Our emotional life is similar. My mind says, “I shouldn’t feel this way about something, I should stop.” The emotions don’t know any thing about this. It’s like they are over in another corner speaking an entirely different language.

We have these three separate parts to our vehicle. The body, the mind, and the emotions, that are all working at different speeds and speaking different languages. Meditation is one method in which we can bring these parts together in order to function in a harmonious way.

I try to set a time each evening to sit quietly for five or ten minutes and try to be aware of this body. I don’t need to do anything except observe what is taking place.

I see that I give in to my resistances all too easily.

Before I approach my meditation, I can say to my body that, “if you allow me to do this, I will let you surf the internet for an hour as a reward.” This inner bargaining can be extremely useful.

And above all else, I try to remember to be kind with myself, especially the parts that remain interested in this effort.



Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

July 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm

hi luke, a beautiful image and very thoughtful words. time to connect the fragmentation that occurs in each moment, to offer harmony to the whole is a true act of kindness!!! steven

Julie Lehrreply
July 29, 2009 at 10:20 am

Thank you for sharing. What do you mean by give in to resistances so easily? Do you give into them by resisting them or do you give into them by observing and disolving them? What is your experience?

Luke Stormsreply
July 29, 2009 at 10:33 am

Thanks Steven for your wonderful and encouraging comment.

Luke Stormsreply
July 29, 2009 at 11:12 am

Hello Julie, thanks for the comment.

In this particular post I was trying to describe the resistances that come in the form of thoughts or tensions in the body and in this sense, I just observe what is taking place at the moment. If I see that I am taken by them I make a gentle return to the breath and this body sitting here. The resistance sometimes goes away on its own when I am able to observe it without interfering.

At other times, when it doesn’t just go away, I just shoulder it as though I am walking with a stubborn donkey so I just pick him up and hoist him over my shoulder and keep on going.

There’s another post on here where I have pondered this question of resistance.

I think that resistance is necessary. I see that it always appears whenever I set myself a task, like some magnificent mathematical law that I don’t really understand. I think the struggle with it through observing it and tasting it’s myriad manifestations is of vital necessity.



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