What You Resist, Persists: Working With Aversion

A confession: the theme of this month’s newest talk resulted in large part due to a difficult experience I had in the recovery room of the hospital, following a surgery I had in late June. 

In fact, my resistance was so fierce, so un-wielding, and so persistent, that it surprised me. It was an intensely powerful sense of just. NO – of not wanting, not accepting — on any level — what was actually happening. 

Sadly, this aversion was aimed directly at my own body, and what was happening within it – which was a strong sense of “unpleasant.” 

And of course, as the Buddha tells us, this quality of not-wanting – or, not accepting what’s happening, not accepting the reality of the moment, which might be unpleasant – is one of the main ways that we create suffering (or dukkha) … not only for ourselves, but also for others. 

In the Pali language, the spoken language of the Buddha’s time, this quality of resistance or aversion to what IS is called dosa

And because this dosa tends to cause so much unnecessary pain and stress in our lives, the teachings urge us to use mindfulness practice to get to really KNOW our dosa, at all levels – from the most minor ways that we resist to the most troubling, and destructive. 

This month’s new talk, “What You Resist, Persists: Working With Aversion,” explores all the many ways that we can start to notice when we’re in some way resisting, and start to let BE, instead of being so aversive to other people, life itself, and of course, ourselves.

It includes a 10-minute meditation on dosa at the end. As always, I hope that it will serve. 

P.S. Please take a look at our newest retreat center in Romney, WV! I was finally able to obtain a few new photos of this beautiful residential campus, which includes 1,400 acres of forest, mountain streams, and miles of hiking trails. 

I’m really excited about being there this Oct. 5-9, when I’ll be offering a 5-day retreat on nurturing the heart practices, “LOVING YOURSELF (*update: it’s now more than 3/4 full.) 

I’ll also be offering another 5-day retreat there March 14-18,  KEEP CALMLY KNOWING CHANGE: Embodying the 3 Truths

I hope you might join me! 

With joy and kind wishes, ~ Shell