This blog chronicles the activities of a meditation group in Bancroft, Ontario and provides instruction in insight meditation. Meditation concepts are explained in terms of Western psychology and in terms of the Buddhist concepts from which this style of meditation derives. Dr. Alan McAllister, a psychologist practicing in Bancroft, is the author of the blog and the facilitator of the group which meets periodically for 8-10 sessions twice a year.
How to read the posts
The posts are arranged here with the most recent appearing at the top of the page. If you are new to the blog, you might find it useful to start with the first posts. Go to the blog archive on the lower right to access the posts in the order in which they were written.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
letting go versus getting rid of
When my clients experience negative emotions, they are quite eager to see them go away. They often associate therapeutic procedures with getting rid of these emotions. Meditation is seen in the same light. When they hear of "letting go," they think they are going to get rid of these troublesome emotions.
I frequently demonstrate the difference between letting go and getting rid of something by holding a pen in my hand. To illustrate getting rid of the pen, I throw the pen forcefully on the ground. To illustrate letting go of the pen I open my hand and incline it slightly so that the pen gently rolls down my outstretched hand and falls to the ground. Letting go involves opening the mind and inclining it towards the release of whatever shows up (whether it be negatively or positively charged) so that it falls away of its own weight.
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