Vulnerability & meditation
This is an ongoing series running through May to compliment the twice weekly meditation sessions that I will be hosting on YouTube (the videos have now been moved to my Vimeo page). If you have any questions, please contact me.
I believe that meditation requires a degree of vulnerability. I will call it here, self-vulnerability. Another word might be honesty? Unless one has a meditation teacher or meditation cohort with whom you can confide your experiences, meditation is a solitary practice. Sometimes emotions or states of mind arise which you would prefer not to think of a something that you think. However, that thought is there. It just presented itself in your mind. You have two choices - acceptance or denial. Denial puts the lid on the emotion for the time being, but it will surface again. Acceptance is the path that meditation takes.
In choosing to adopt the path of acceptance, we are being vulnerable with ourselves. In choosing to accept the presence of a state of mind that I would prefer not to be there, I am exhibiting a vulnerability towards myself, choosing to see and accept myself as I am. In doing so, I am taking the first steps towards freedom. I note and don’t get involved with the thought, and come back to the object of meditation with no judgement. It is a practice of loving kindness for self. In this acceptance of the thought’s presence is the start of letting it go.
Brené Brown, researcher, author and speaker on the subjects of shame and vulnerability speaks about people who she describes as Wholehearted.
Brené had identified a unique group of people who “fully embraced vulnerability … (who) believed what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.” She named them the Wholehearted.
~ A Look at Wholeheartedness with Brené Brown - B The Change
Or in the words of meditation teacher Pema Chödron, using different words but speaking to the same subject (replace ‘world’ with ‘self’ to personalize the phrasing of the practice),
If we want there to be peace in the world, we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s the true practice of peace.
~ Pema Chödron, Practicing Peace in Times of War