There is an interesting notion in Vipassana meditation.
You see, when you sit for some time with your legs crossed under you, until you become expert at that posture, you suffer extraordinary pain.
At first it just feels uncomfortable.
Then your legs get that pins and needles feeling. And then it just hurts.
It pretty much just hurts for years, but you learn to work with the pain.
Work With The Pain
You don’t label it. You watch it expand and contract, move in waves, whatever it does.
You don’t try to resist it. You stop thinking, How long will this last?
You just sit with it.
Through working with the pain, you learn you are not the feeling body and the thinking mind.
Now, here is the thing.
Some teachers will say: well, why work with pain when you can work with pleasurable sensations in the body?
Some will even go so far as to say it is part of the teaching that they have harems of women.
It’s Easy To Fool Yourself With Pleasure
I call bullshit because of something I think legendary teacher, Shinzen Young, told me, or helped me see.
You can fool yourself with pleasure.
You can pretend that you have transcended, or perhaps mastered the body/mind, but why then be pulled toward the pleasure?
I used to think that the hard part about my job was becoming immune to criticism.
But as I got more into it, I realized that wasn’t the hard part.
You can become all badass and say, “I don’t care what other people think,” but if on the other side there is this small part of you that gets excited when someone likes a photo you took, or feels a hit of validation for every person who likes what you wrote, then what have you achieved?
You may be immune to criticism, but you are “controlled” by your cravings for praise.
If you want to truly become immune to criticism, begin the other way.
Become immune to praise.