One teacher helped me a great deal with comparing pain and difficult situations with a knife, a knife that is pointing at your chest and about to enter. Naturally you are afraid of the knife and you would want to back up, move away. However he advised to instead gently lean into the knife. Don’t run away but see how sharp it is, what exactly is going on, to investigate it. Now this might sound funny but try to move and lean into the sharp knife with kindness: try to look at to your own emotions and your own pain with kindness.

Merel-doing-her-practice

 

Don’t blame those feelings, don’t blame the difficult situation, instead try to see how and what it is trying to teach you. It doesn’t mean that you have to be kind in the sense of pleasing yourself and getting comfortable with the pain and the difficult situation. It is kindness in the sense of accepting the knife (aka pain) so that you can look at them, recognise them and change them.

Understand that you can move away from the knife, avoid the situation, repress it, don’t talk about it, don’t look at it. But that knife will remain there and move closer and closer and it will continue haunting you unless you face it. Kindness is moving into the pain, into the knife, to learn from it, and gaining clarity to overcome it completely once and for all instead of letting it fester due to fear and lack of examination..

 

Merel Martens

 

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