I am having a crisis [relationship, recovery, health,depression/anxiety]. I can’t even think straight much less be like the Dalai Lama
On one level there is the issue. The diagnosis. The financial loss. The partner leaving or dying.
On another level there is our reaction to the issue: the story we tell ourselves and ‘buy into’. Why is this happening to me? I will never be happy or whole again the way I was. I am such a loser no one will want to be with me.
Although we believe we are doing all the right things to achieve the results we want, what happens in our lives is not up to us. When we are caught by surprise, and the surprise is not pleasant, we can become enraged, sad, despondent, self-critical. When we identify whole-heartedly with those reactions, we suffer. Meditation gives us a platform within which to accept the emotions and the suffering lovingly and compassionately. This doesn’t only make us feel better, it gives us—in the larger multi-dimensional sense—the opportunity to respond. Not just react. Talk to someone who has come through a crisis. Many times it has unforeseen positive consequences.
Shunryu Suzuki writes, Suppose your children are suffering from a hopeless disease. You do not know what to do; you cannot lie in bed. Normally the most comfortable place for you would be a warm comfortable bed, but now because of your mental agony you cannot rest. You may walk up and down, in and out, but this does not help. Actually the best way to relieve your mental suffering is to sit in zazen, even in such a confused state of mind and bad posture. If you have no experience of sitting in this kind of difficult situation you are not a Zen student. No other activity will appease your suffering.