2021-07-28-Hatred (3 of 5) Practicing with Ill Will
3:29PM Jul 28, 2021
So the topic this week is adosa, that I've been translating his hatred or hostility, to also translated as ill will, which has the benefit of being feeling like it can include a wider range, including things that are even very mild and it can be feeling there's a little bit of ill will in it, and, and that you might not identify as having hatred or hostility. So it might be as simple as you know, someone crowds you a little bit too much in the supermarket line, maybe instead of six feet away, they stand four feet away. And, and, you know, and far enough, you don't feel like you can say something, but you really don't like it. And, and there's a you feel this kind of little ill will like, a little to that person is that, you know, but that necessary to have the ill will and not hatred is not hostility, but it is kind of an unkind attitude. So, we will, so today The topic is how to practice with ill will. And this is a big topic practicing with it. And, and I want to kind of maybe tried to do it from the kind of wide perspective first and then bring it in closer and closer to the mindfulness practice with it. And a wider perspective of it is that if you want to practice with it will will if you want to get a handle on, it will let you have and and become wise about it and even become free of it from it. Even if it's the remains, it's the kind of freedom you can find around it. So you're not caught in its grip. One of the things to do is to live to is to reflect on it for a while, think about it, contemplate, talk to friends about it, and to see if you can begin understanding what your relationship to it is, what attitude you have towards Elwell. If you have ill will towards it fail Will you attend to regularly justify it? And, and hold on to it? And do you tend to feel shame? Because you have it? Do you tend to ignore it and deny it and push it away? All those are kind of common enough attitudes that people can have towards ill will that they have? And there's lots of other things, but what is that relationship you have? What's the attitude? And what are your beliefs about it? Do you believe that it's always wrong? You believe it's always for you, it's always justified. And that's a tricky one. Because in some ways, maybe it is justified, given how difficult the experiences are that are happening to you and what people are doing. But maybe it's easy to justify, but it's not really still the most strategic way of living your life in the face of challenges. Maybe there are better ways. And anyway, to look at the attitude we have the relationship and then to consider also if you act on the ill will what happens? What's the consequences of that? Are there consequences in the world really beneficial or not? And, and maybe sometimes expressing strong ill will to someone, you can be strategic in the moment to get what you want. But it may be it doesn't really set up conditions for the long term that are very healthy or useful. And and so what are the dangers associated with the lol and and then what happened? What's it like for you when you walk around with ill will and what what are the what are the things that come with it? Anyway so there's all these questions and to relive a reflective contemplative life and and to kind of question at then consider it. It's often helpful to do that with a friend or wise friend and even sometimes to engage your friend and say, you know, can you ask me I'd like to explore ill will and my relationship to it. Would you be willing just kind of be with me as I explored, maybe ask me questions and help out.
The benefit of that kind of reflection is when you sit down to meditate, you're wiser about the Oh, well. You can recognize some of the attitudes that come up some of the common strategies you have Have your relationship beliefs you have in relationship to ill will, that interfere with the ability to really be present for it. Another thing that can be helpful before even before you meditate or during meditation, is to have some familiarity with metta, some feeling that familiarity with some of the emotions of kindness and compassion and care that we that can live inside of us. And to consider, and this can be reflective also maybe conversation with friends, what is the relationship with ill with goodwill to ill will? And how's it out? Is there appropriate ways to bring goodwill to Elwell and have goodwill meet ill will, on or to touch, ill will. And I use those words carefully meet and touch ill will, because it's different than fixing and getting rid of and I've had to, you know, ill will and tried to use my practice to kind of blast it out of existence. It was kind of an ill will to ill will, and but a touch touch it. And so to kind of begin exploring this world of ours, in relationship to our to Goodwill in it, how do we what is goodwill, and where does that live in our lives. And, and so this is a reflective life, a contemplative life that lets things deepen and fill out for us. So when we come to meditate, for example, that's in the background that's there as a foundation, that's a support for the mindfulness practice itself. So, in mindfulness practice, whether it's on the cushion in meditation or in regular life, mindfulness practice entails in a sense, stopping and looking. So we have ill will, we wanted to stop and take a good look. And the stopping is, means we don't just barrel ahead be busy in our life. But if that situation allows it, to maybe even pause, and so that, you really reckon Oh, this is what's happening. Now. Sometimes there can be kind of a general simple understanding that there's ill will there but and then we kind of made some people might be content with that's kind of mindfulness. But it's not really stopping and pausing and really taking an honest good look and see, this is what's happening, there is ill will here. And then having stopped to take a real look at it, take the time to familiarize yourself with it, to be in the present moment with the experience, which is what the seeing is, and and begin seeing it more fully with eyes that maybe have a little goodwill, or eyes that are not in not carrying with it, all our attitudes that we have about it, that makes so much complicated, but to see, to stop and look at the ill will, with eyes that are simple present, without hostility, without condoning it without justifying it, without feeling shame about it, or critical about it, just to kind of look at it just for itself for what it is, as if ill will. There's a rightness appropriateness to really stop and take a look at the experience of ill will, in and of itself, as if it has permission to be there. But because you've stopped, there's no danger, that you're going to act on it in harmful ways. You're just going to look at it and really get to know it.
And one of the ways with many things in meditation looks best is to feel it in your body. What's how's it experience? Where's the center of it? Where's it expressed most in the body? Where's the tension? Where's the heat? Where's the pressure? Where's the place it wants to do something and act and to feel it in the body. And one of the advantages of really feeling it in the body is the body is not a story. And one of the things that fuels ill will is a story making mine she said he said they said and and so instead of kind of continuing with the stories and the conversations, were kind of dropping in and letting the body be the place that we feel what's actually happening. There's something very significant about the feeling ill will in the body is that the body has an ability to process difficult emotions. That's a very different way than the cognitive mind the mind that's thinks about things and analyzes things and imagines things. The body has it as a term In this healing power, and to drop down and feel the body is part of this healing potential we have. And one way that healing happens is that just as soon as you feel in your body, you can feel the tensions, and those tensions can begin to melt away. And that changes the whole relationship to ill will, because some of the fuels power that ill will has comes from the tension we hold in our body, or in our mind, in our hearts. And so it might also be useful to notice what other emotions come along with ill will, there might be underlying emotions that are really the ill will is a symptom of deeper emotions, that might be fear, there might be hurt. There might also be deep inside that sense of conceit, a sense of self that we're contracted around, and to drop in and start feeling carefully. Those underlying attitudes of feelings, emotions, contraction, sense of self, sometimes is much more useful than just paying attention to the ill will. And I find it very helpful sometimes to think of ill will, is just a messenger, don't kill the messenger, what's the message what's what's going on more deeply, and at the field, and be mindful of that. It's not an analysis, but it's feeling our way into what's deeper, what's really going on here. And, and then sometimes with ill will, there isn't mindfulness of the stories we do, the beliefs we have. And the fascinating thing there is to see them just as thoughts, to be able to be quiet, still enough to have stopped enough just to observe a belief come up with a thought there, without believing it without picking it up, or being involved. And like, almost like you step back. And, you know, you watch, you know, you could be maybe if you could watch a thought, bubble rise above the head of a friend, maybe, you know, it's like you're a little bit or stranger, you're a little bit detached, you're a little bit removed, you're not entangled with it. So sometimes we kind of step back and watch the thoughts a story and making mind that sometimes is so important for perpetuating the ill will. And, and then always finding some way to maybe relax, to find the places where there's tension, and if it's easy enough to relax it and settle. So to practice with it, to be present for it to be mindful of it. And,
and, and all along if you have some interest in and value in goodwill, to do this whole practice of practicing with ill will, with an attitude of goodwill, that you're doing this, even though it's difficult, you're doing it for your own welfare and happiness. For the long term happiness, it might be difficult in the moment, but the more familiarity and the more wisdom and the more capacity we have to be mindful and present. With ill will, the more that will slowly begin to build and create more and more, a greater and greater wise way of living with it. Until ill will, you'll discover one day has less and less hold on you with less and less power over you, it might still arise. But instead of being alarmed or going along with it, you say oh, there's my old friend, ill will. It's okay, you can kind of just stay there, and we're not going to get involved with that then later will practice with you will sit down. So, in these few minutes that I have, that's what I have to say about practicing with lol. And it's a well worthwhile, I think it's part of a responsible life is to is to really learn the art the ability to be mindful of ill will so that it doesn't get the upper hand and so we don't cause harm in this world. So thank you and and so one of the things you might think of doing and practicing with ill will even the slightest for this next day is to maybe see in what way does ill will contract you into yourself. So that the sense of self or conceit or something is there is highlighted or to what To what degree does ill will created unhealthy separation from other people and both directions are possible. You'd see the, the difficulty in yourself to have your will and you see the difficulty it creates socially. So you might see how that operates. Thank you very much.