Sunday, June 29, 2008

Feel inadequate?

Greg Kramer's description of how feelings of inadequacy are constructed:

First there is sensory contact with the world: we seek hear, touch, or remember another person. The subject-object split happens instantaneously; we experience me and them. Then the deeply conditioned view of separateness and difference arises. We feel fearful, unsafe. Entering this view, we compare ourselves to others; inevitably we either come up on top--and are tense because we seek to be recognized for our superiority, fearful to lose that recognition--or we come out on the bottom and are tense because we fear the social death of rejection. These feelings are being constructed anew in every moment. They are not permanent, but continually reconstructed. This is key. Once the thoughts "I am inferior," "I am inadequate," "I am unworthy," are constructed as mental images and as a felt bodily sense, we cling to them and believe in them as if they were stable and permanent. We don't notice that we re-create them all the time.

GK p47

If you are reading the newsletter or Insight and Meditation blog, you may recognize the experience being described as the flow of aggregates arising out of current experience and the resulting dispositions built up over a lifetime. By recognizing the arising formations, the arising process, we have an opportunity to modify our behavior, influencing dispositions toward future experiences.

Notice any ways you make comparisons - and build on them. Be aware also of any negative effects such comparisons have on your sense of well-being, or your quality of mind. (see Gregory's exercises on page 48)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Third Hunger (cont'd)

When we speak ill of ourselves internally, we are both perpetrator and victim. Each self-criticism is a dart that contracts the heart in pain.

Greg Kramer p.46