BY SWAMI CHETANANANDA
Someone recently asked me whether deeply ingrained tensions, or fundamental hurts that keep resurfacing over and over can ever be resolved.
My own personal experience is that most of it is never fully resolved. It’s as if when we are born, we’re put in a Corvette Stingray with a 425 supercharger in it and pointed at a brick wall, at a very high speed. BAM! We hit the world. There’s lots of damage to the sheet metal. It’s just what happens in the course of our lives. I’m using this metaphor because you can patch the body of a damaged car back together again, but it’s never going to be the same. You can never really get all the wrinkles out. You can’t, and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean it won’t drive, and it may not be as pretty as we wanted it to be, and some people will stress about it forever, but it really just doesn’t matter. Slowly, through our practice, through our self-cultivation and our self-study, we are able to come to a place where we can access some love and joy within ourselves that is an appropriate antidote to all of the wrinkles that have established themselves as our personal experience.
Pain, moreover, is fundamentally energy. What all the wrinkles in the sheet metal represent is energy that has been transferred from the motion of your vehicle in contact with the wall to the body of the car. It has been transferred and endures in the sheet metal. That’s what the wrinkles are. When you attend to the pain without any attitude about it, that energy is released. You just feel it, you hold the awareness of it, you don’t avoid it, you don’t get entangled by it in your mind, you simply relate to the pain. Doing this, the pain becomes released and that energy is absorbed into your system.
Don’t even bother to think about life lessons. Personally, I think life lessons are bullshit. When I hear people asking, “Oh, what’s the lesson in this”, I cringe. There is no lesson in this. The lesson is in the absorption of the energy and the inherent transformation of our energetic mechanism that will come from that absorption. There is no mental, intellectual, emotional information that we can ever wrap our mind around and call a permanent lesson because, in every case, the lessons that we refer to are not lessons that are positive, they are lessons that are life negating. Right? Think about it!
Instead of talking about life lessons, we need to take the pain and transform it into joy. It doesn’t matter what level the pain is happening in—physical, mental or emotional—it is simply energy locked in wrinkled sheet metal that needs to be released so that we can absorb and digest it. Absorbing that energy brings about an automatic change in the structure of our energetic mechanism, and that’s what takes us to a higher, life-affirming state.