Sometimes we allow ourselves to be trapped into the assumption that the more worried we get about a situation, the more likely we are to solve whatever problem we are perceiving. There two are reasons to doubt the validity of that approach. Firstly, we tend to jump to the conclusion that the situation that we’re dealing with is a problem just because it evokes a negative feeling and that is not necessarily true. Secondly, the energy that we expend worrying about a problem does nothing to change the situation in a positive way and in fact creates a risk that the situation will deteriorate. With those two elements, such an approach is liable to take a circumstance which might actually be to our benefit and turn it into one that causes us serious difficulties.

Thankfully, this unfortunate result can be avoided. How? It can be avoided by training ourselves to bring the mind back into the present moment on a regular basis. If we have developed a regular insight meditation practice this will help us to avoid unnecessary difficulty. Our compass will be well honed through introspection such that we have a firm grasp on our objectives and the path that we are taking to get there. That will allow us to evaluate each situation to see whether it is hindering us on that path or not. Very often the situation that has led to our negative feeling has no impact on the outcome we want so we can be assured that, if we’re reacting negatively, our reaction is nothing but ego, i.e., useless from a spiritual perspective. It can then be confidently discarded.

The next way that insight meditation will help us comes into play when we have a genuine problem on our hands, a situation that threatens to prevent us from meeting our objectives. In that scenario, we need a way to avoid getting hysterical because, as noted above, at best that would just be a waste of energy and at worst it could be counter productive. Our meditation practice comes in very handy because through present moment awareness, we will have trained ourselves how to bring the mind back into the present moment. That way we won’t get carried away with worry and we can devote our energy to solving the problem instead.

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(1) Understand the Pain