2023-01-11-Gil-Dharma of Challenges (3 of 5) Clarifying Truth
10:11AM Jan 13, 2023
Hello, everyone. And here we have the third talk on the dharma of challenges. And maybe in some ways, life is one continuous challenge with little interludes between them. And so learning to be with challenges or learning to be wise about them and find our way through them in effective way, is a very important part of dharma practice. So dharma as different meanings, today's meaning that the third meaning that I've listed before is dharma s truth. And what we mean by truth is very important to consider. And, and one of the simplest ones that I like a lot is, mindfulness is a practice of truth telling, that the truth means that we're honest. And that honesty is basically truth out loud, or truth that we discover is to be honest with ourselves. And whether we should be verbally honest and truthful about everything we experience this questionable since sometimes truth can hurt people. But we always want to be truthful, towards ourselves, we really honest to learn how to be honest. And we are honest with ourselves. And so how do we learn to do that? How do we learn to stop and take a moment or take time to really recognize how we are and what's happening for us the truth of how we feel. And one of the important really important things to learn this quest for truth and honesty, is to be able to distinguish between our direct experience and the interpret interpretations, we add to it, the layers of meaning making, judgments, commentary, value that we add, on top of things, or the time that we add on top of things. For example, if this continues, this will end up in terrible way. This means that, you know, terrible things will happen. Or passed, this is just like what happened before. And, and therefore I know what this is about. So some of that layers of meaning making and thoughts and interpretations that we have, are appropriate and wise to do. But it's also a place where we get into tremendous trouble. And when we have challenges in our life, the chances are fairly high. That the interpretive story making mind predictive mind, value mind judgment mind. Is operating more strongly than usual, it kind of makes sense for if challenged were difficult. And so what is this mean for me, you know, how do I find my way out and what's wrong here, I have to understand what's happening. So it makes sense that we get into that mode. But the interpretive meaning making story making mode is a fair amount of time is inaccurate, it doesn't have the full picture it generalizes it, it settles on a particular interpretation and particular aspect of what's happening. Sometimes it has blinders on it doesn't see the fuller picture. Sometimes, we don't really, depending on what the challenge is, we don't see ourselves fully. And one of the ways to learn to distinguish between really see or this is an interpretation, this has that added layer, maybe it has some accuracy, some truth to it. Maybe it's something that we have that principle or an idea that I need to somehow take into account and act on. But it is an interpretation is a story. It's an added thing. And so to take the time to see that, then we have more ability to have choice and clarity about what we're doing. So that if we're having a challenge with another person, if we can say, you know, something? What happened what you said yesterday was very difficult for me. And part of the reason it was so difficult It is I understood it to be or interpreted to be, you were angry with me. As soon as you say, I understand it, I interpreted, I add, you know, that's how I understood it, there's a little bit more room for it not to be dogmatic, you were angry, but rather to let the other person participate and explained, well, I was irritated, but I was also really scared. And then you get a bigger picture of what's going on. So to be able to know, to hold and see something a little bit more, provisionally, when we know it's an interpretation, or story, or, as opposed to what's happening to us directly. Also, when we are challenged with other people, or with ourselves, even to perceive the direct experience, as the direct experience gives us a much really important reference point for how to go forward or what needs care needs to be made. So if someone was angry with you yesterday, and the direct experience is because of that, you feel hurt. And you have a tendency to maybe when you're hurt to be angry back and be in the attack mode. And so, but if you let what was the direct experience, what happened to me? Oh, yes, I was hurt. And now I'm in the attack mode. Or, Yes, I was hurt, and now I'm trying to run away. Or I'm afraid, or I'm sad. And, and then also, when you know that information, then you can begin looking at well, given that I'm hurt or afraid or sad, or angry? What what do I practice without? How do I be with it? How do I be with it? So I don't act reactively? How do I be with it so that I'm caring for myself? Because sometimes when we react to challenges, then we often lose ourselves in the process. So, so to take time to find out what's true here, what's the direct experience? What's, what's the direct experience, and what's the interpretation or the story that I'm telling. And, but stories are important. And so one of the interesting things to do, is when there's challenges is to tell the story, but maybe to a neutral party, like can I tell you how I understood this, what happened tell you the story, and what happened, and some of the stories to be accurate. And sometimes hearing you set you say it in a neutral way and, and having a kind of the taking the pressure off the the bottled up pneus of the story and the feelings by telling the story gives us more clarity about what's going on. And, and one of the ways to tell the stories to tell it to yourself, some people journal about it. And then it's interesting to journal because there's a record now of what you what you're thinking what you're interpreting an element is possible then to go back and reread it. And much better understand where the interpretation is where the story where the story making is the values the all the things we add to the the basic raw story, the Raw Story versus how we are interpreting it. And, and also the way we think, and the way that we write or the way that we speak, sometimes polls are in different parts of the mind. And one interesting way of seeing this may be is that maybe when you're dry, it's sometime when you're alone. Speak out loud to yourself, speak about what's happening on the challenge out loud. And and maybe in speaking about it out loud rather than it ruminating in the mind. You'll find a different relationship to it. Maybe you're speaking from a different place, you understand more your reactivity or your understanding more your place of wisdom, you're more likely to come and maybe in speaking out loud. You can it's clearly it's clarified much more what's happening for you. And maybe you'll find your way with it. So all this is a way of being honest, being truthful, the truth of what's directly happening and to know that what that means direct, immediate seeing and knowing
and the truth of oh this is what the story I'm telling myself about it. This is how I'm interpreting it. This is how the values I put on it the meaning I put on it the Predict shins of the future I put on it. The, this is what I dredge up from the past to include as part of this, what's happening. And, and the truth of seeing what you're doing in the mind with all this is invaluable. This means that hopefully the challenges we have, they're not crisis as of the moment. But if there's, you know, it's ongoing, and some enough way that we can take time out, ask reality for a little timeout, to go meditate to go journal to go for a walk, to spend some time with a neutral friend, and just really kind of begin discovering what is really the truth here, versus what is the interpretation, what is really the direct experience, interpretation does have a role. But if we know its interpretation, then as I said earlier, we can say that when we're in conversation with people, and then there's much more space to maneuver and find a way. And truth is, makes us uncomfortable. You know, it says much, much more comfortable sometimes to, oddly enough to be caught up in our interpretations or meaning making our anger or blame or fear than it is to stop and really feel it to know it, and be present for our direct experience. But that's what we're trying to do in this dharma practice this kind of truthfulness about what's actually happening here. And, and, and then also to put ourselves in situations where we're more likely to kind of pop the bubble of our interpretations and our stories. And what I mean by this is, sometimes I've, I've had difficulties with other people, like I'm angry with them or something. And I've learned that my mind thinks about the other person, I don't think so accurately about the person when I'm angry towards them. And so I've learned that it's really important to go find the person and be in conversation with them, because that pops the bubble of the projections, the meaning the interpretations that my mind is making up around the anger. And it's much safer for me much safer for the other person, if we can meet and have this, you know, direct experience of each other rather than being involved in this whole other world of, of meaning making story making interpretations. So So today, if you want to kind of explore these ideas in your daily life, is ask reality for a timeout. And it could be a minute, it could be five minutes, it could be depending on what's going on and might be needed longer. In order to go for a walk, meditate journal do something that you begin asking what's true here? What's true in the direct experience? And what is interpretation? Oh, oh, that's an interpretation. That statement, that's an interpretation is a statement of truth. Oh, it's true. That's interpretation. That's a judgment. That's a meaning making. That's, oh, that's what my mind is doing. That's how I'm relating to all this. And maybe it's really important to see it clearly. That's what you're doing. Maybe you'll see that it's false. Maybe you'll see that you have to take this into account and act accordingly. But to to know clearly, oh, this is what's happening. This is what's happening is one of the really important ways to work with challenges in the long term to get his skill of doing this makes all challenges a lot easier. So, thank you very much, and we'll continue on this theme tomorrow.