First of all, you might ask “What are our Inner Enemies?Answer: They are the things that we, as human beings struggle with in our minds every day. When we are heavily attached to another person or object in such a way that it becomes unhealthy.Or: simply put – our anger. This can manifest in many different ways. Frustration, leading to anxiety or hypertension; hatred for other people or things an all-out, blowout anger leading to yelling or even breaking things or getting physical with other people at the extremes.Third, aversion. Avoiding other people or situations or things that are probably okay for us but we have this strong, unhealthy aversion to these “okay” things.So these are the three basic experiences we have that constitute our Inner Enemies and everything else if you look deeply enough is a branch of these. Anger, Attachment and Aversion.
Even sadness can usually be traced to an object or person. Something or somebody that we lost. This is attachment. Sure a mourning period is necessary. But most of us (myself included) tend to mourn for overly long periods of time and are so heavily emotional about it that we can operate at near-dysfunctional levels. The intensity of sadness can be overwhelming sometimes and it really is not good for us. So this isn’t the whole ball of wax…it took me years to figure it out and there are deeper basics that need to be learned first (as they say “You can’t run before you can walk”) but if you have an idea of what it should look like or feel like, then you are headed in that direction.With Attachment, we have to first see the situation for what it really is. And to be blunt and a bit ‘in your face’ about it, we typically end up playing the ‘poor me’ card when someone ELSE has passed or if something got broken. If we look into the big cosmic picture and practice the antidote of ‘Egolessness’ then we see – it’s NOT about US. We are so focused on ourselves and how bad we feel we tend to forget about that person’s family. If it’s a pet we have to put down we oftentimes are mostly considering our own well being when it’s the poor animal that is suffering.
But we make it about US. Time to shift your viewpoint and look past the veil and get out of ourselves. Take a look from Eternity’s side. It’s best to meditate to see the whole picture and realize how small we really are in the occasion. Easier said than done right?Okay, now for our Anger. I’ve heard people say “I never get angry.” But then witnessed them get right out of control sometimes! Whether it’s subtle and withheld or extreme, we are still angry. Again, be totally honest with yourself (and yes, this hurts sometimes as we feel like a ‘bad person’ when we really investigate our inner selves at times but be honest until it hurts! Then you have seen past the veil. If you can step out of your shoes and really feel and see things from an outsider’s viewpoint then you become ‘The Observer’ of yourself. This will spur you on to a better life right away! Take a look at your anger. No matter how subtle it is. And meditate (or go for a long walk and contemplate) so that you see it for what it really is. This is no time for deluding yourself. I’ve scoped my mind for how many judgements I’ve made in a day and been ashamed of myself! Ignorant people at church, and more useless judgements.
But realize that you are only human and we are conditioned since birth. It will take a lot of consciousness and looking within even to recognize these things. The hardest part is recognizing and then admitting to yourself and to someone you trust or who may even be a mentor that you see how poorly you really are in control of your own mind. This is great! There is no way to go but up from here! You may feel ‘bad’ about it but remember Guilt is a useless emotion. Time to move onward and upward. The nice thing about this too is that now that you can ‘See’ then you know what you need to work on. And it’s like riding a bike, hard to learn at first, seems impossible but once you’ve mastered it, there is no going back. We should even consider Santa Monica tutoring services to help us learn that the antidote to Anger is Compassion, if that’s what it takes. We should meditate on this. If we can take ourselves out of ourselves and simply exist in the breath, then we can get out of ourselves and step in someone else’s shoes and feel the other person’s feelings. Maybe understand that it wasn’t their intent to hurt or harm us. Intent is everything. Even if we can’t see it, usually people mess up by accident and don’t mean to harm us.
My teacher Phuntsog would tell us, the Sangha “We think that that person SHOULDN’T have done that! But if we look deeper, there are a million different reasons why they ‘SHOULD’ have done exactly as they did…. Contemplate that. Conditioning, didn’t see us, Religion, Culture, peer pressure, just ignorance (not knowing) etc. Meditate on compassion if even for a few deep breaths and you will see this and feel more relaxed with the situation. Anger only HURTS YOU. The other person doesn’t even feel it. It is bad for our health.Okay, so the next one is Aversion. When we avoid – we are ‘against’. This creates strain. If it’s procrastination, it just builds in us and gets deeper and deeper until we feel like we are going to explode. It creates tension and anxiety. The best way to deal with this is to ‘let go’ of all our negative feelings or anticipation of the situation being ‘bad’. Usually once we get there or face it, the anticipation was far worse than the actual event. We have to remind ourselves of this as soon as we feel a wall going up. Nip it in the bud and remember all of the other times we felt this way and how good we have felt once things were in full swing or taken care of. When we are against something it creates strain. It creates the attitude of ‘fight or flight’. Not good for us.
So when we meditate on ‘letting go’ then this is the antidote. We can imagine ourselves flowing through the situation gently and allowing it. Once we manage to get to the other end of this (it may take 10 or more tries in as many different situations) but we need once again to recognizing it, admitting it and seeing the bubbles of these emotions as they start. To be on top of our emotions. Be the ‘Observer’ of ourselves. When you get good at this you will say “Wow! what a different life I am living now!” If we were doing a rally “for Peace” or a rally “for clean living” wouldn’t that feel better than being involved in “the war against crime” or “the war against Drugs” ? So breathe, relax first, then let the air flow through you like the wind through the trees and Let Go, and let go and let go again. Practice it. Like shooting hoops in Basketball. Allow, allow and allow and have compassion in your heart. Some people have this naturally, but if you are like me, you need to practice it. Just like exercise, if we quit we fall out of shape.So there are the 3 Inner Enemies and their antidotes. PS. Don’t let yourself fall out of Spiritual Shape.Altruistic love,Rick