I wrote previously in this post about how meditation can allow deeply-buried personal issues to resurface, for one to confront.
Tonight as I was watching a documentary, I caught an interesting quote:
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl G. Jung.
Earlier in this quote he talked about the importance of recognizing and accepting one’s shadow, so it does not manifest itself subconsciously through our conscious behaviour.
This got me thinking about meditation. When I first started meditating, I could not easily quiet my mind for a long time. However, continued practice trained my mind to focus and obtain clarity. When thoughts float up, I was able to stand away and look at myself: both my mind and my heart, what I am thinking and what I feel. It was then that I could figure out why I thought and felt that way, so I could dig deeper. For example, I could identify a sense of irritability within me, which was triggered by a friend’s off-hand comment regarding my body image. Keeping a clarity of mind prevents thoughts of anger, retaliation, doubt and instead I see how my reaction is a projection of myself. Deep insecurities over my weight, memories of taunting in childhood and adolescence, my current satisfactory body image and health, all of which made me who I am today: health-conscious and sensitive to the topic of body image. The struggle of bringing shadow to light, and integrate it as part of oneself can be very rewarding indeed.
I shall continue watching the rest of the documentary, Love, Reality and the Time of Transition this weekend. It’s available for free streaming on YouTube,