Pain and Pleasure to fit all
Robert was meditating in a group meditation. This particular type of meditation is about stillness of the body. To avoid making any movement and to become aware of our own breathing.
After meditation was over, Robert shared with his teacher that he felt bliss.
“It was a sensation of fulfillment;” Robert mentioned.
Then, Robert explained that he felt physical pain after a while during the meditation, but in this occasion, it was the first time that he fully accepted it, and the pain stopped being that bothersome.
His teacher said that it is good to feel those things, but equanimity is the teaching. Don’t take pleasure neither pain. Remain in equanimity.
The students agreed with the teacher.
Isn’t that a good teaching? 🙂
It depends. Some will teach: “Do what is pleasurable. Avoid what is painful. It is good as long as it feels good.”
Another teaching will say: “Sacrifice your pleasure now. Renounce pleasure now for it is just tempting you. You will indulge in it and you will forget about greater things in life.”
Yet, Robert’s teacher mentioned to remain in equanimity by not taking pleasure nor pain.
Which one is the right teaching? For sure, one of them has to be the right one, for those 3 teachings contradict themselves.
That is how 3 different “religions,” 3 different belief systems emerged.
As we grow in awareness, we could see that the first teaching “Do what is pleasurable and avoid what is painful,” makes sense. Most people will follow this. It is for the masses. Nevertheless, it is forgotten that duality does not work like that. Pleasure comes with pain. The more pleasure we pursue; equal amount of pain will be experienced in one way or another. The anticipation of pleasure is emotional pain until pleasure comes. Once pleasure is experienced, comes the pain of not being in pleasure. 😦
The above is the cycle of addiction.
The second teaching is about becoming acquainted with pain, so it is not that “painful” anymore and to avoid the other side of duality, that is pleasure as much as possible. This spiritual teachings was made popular when the understanding about the flesh, the body; as the culprit for not experiencing our spiritual side. That is bring the spirit up, the soul forward by denying the body. The masses could understand this teaching very well. “Don’t do this. Do that instead.” The issue is that pain could become the pursuit. It could become the “pleasure.” More pain experienced means a greater state of sainthood.
Masochists are those who find pleasure in pain.
The third teaching is to remain in equanimity by rejecting both, pleasure and pain; seems logical; it seems “good”… However, in Spirituality to make an “effort” to reject duality means not to experience life but to become a machine. Duality is not “bad.”
All of the above teachings have shortcomings. The issue resides in the type of consciousness we are in.
According to that consciousness, there will be a type of follower for those teachings.
A “normal” person has an addictive personality. If it feels good, you want more of it, always more. That is why the teaching of denying things is thought to be the answer to reform the person. But then, too much denial becomes an “abnormal” behavior. The question is, what is “too much”?
Thus, to deny both sides of duality; takes away the experience of life.
When our consciousness accepts pain with the same equanimity as pleasure, then there is equanimity in acceptance. That means, there is equanimity in experiencing life. When pain is not taken as pain neither pleasure as pleasure, when we abandon those ideas, there is freedom from pursuing something. It is just an experience.
Until our minds are not-self absorbed in the experience of one side or the denial of both sides of duality, then we will no experience balance, we will not enjoy life with gratitude.
It is pain bad? No. It is pleasure bad? No. It is pain good? No. It is pleasure good? No. They are neither bad nor good.
What are they?
Pain and Pleasure.
Please realize that it is our clinging mind, our mind full of attachments to liking something or even rejecting something (we become attached to that idea) that state is taking us out of balance and harmony.
The above teachings are not concerned about individuals, so they discover the state of their minds through experience and observation. Those teachings are more into putting a paragraph of “do “ and “don’t do” in a basic law, in a book to worship, so it fits all.
A “Fit all sizes” type of deal, will not fit all very well. It never has.