Man, you are in the bell jar

14Jun12

I got my Sun magazine in the mail today. This month’s theme was p.sychology, which was right up my alley. As usual, I went right to the Sunbeams section.

Some gems:

Is there no way out of the mind? -Sylvia Plath

The mind thinks thoughts that we don’t plan. It’s not as if we say, “At 9:10 pm I’m going to be filled with self-hatred.” -Sharon Salzberg

I love that the Sun goes from poet who sticks her head in the oven to insight meditation author. I should probably stay away from Sylvia Plath as a role model, given that whole suicide thing. At the same time, I can relate to that feeling sometimes. There’s a sense of desperation implicit in making it a question and I have certainly felt myself being there. Like life would be so much simpler if I could just turn my brain off but I feel powerless to actually do it.

Lest I get too morose, there is insight meditation. While there are times when I’m actively thinking about things, life, and whatnot, there are other times when I’m just going about my day and something pops into my head that I don’t really want to think about. Self-hatred at 9:10 sounds about right. The thought comes in without permission but I give it permission to stay. I’m controlled by what I think rather than being in control of it. That’s the thing I can’t quite seem to get a handle on: thought in, thought out. I don’t need to spend any more time contemplating or assigning any feelings or judgments to whatever thought it is that comes up. It’s one of the things we talk about in therapy and it’s something to aspire to but I can’t say that I am anywhere close yet.

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