We all want to be happy and to avoid suffering. These are the two tendencies that characterize the entire living world. Every life form will strive to satisfy its needs and thus be content, but also to avoid any form of suffering.
Although being self-aware and highly intelligent, we humans are also unable to avoid pain. Whether it be physical or emotional, pain is inevitable even to the most mature or spiritually developed people.
However, Buddhism claims that one can become entirely free from suffering. That final stage of human existence is being called Nirvana, or Enlightenment. It is not our topic here, at least directly. Still, if we cannot completely transcend suffering, at least we can diminish it.
I will describe here instructions for dealing with various difficulties. These guidelines are based on three stages related to the hardship:
Note that it’s essential for your inner work to accurately recognize at which stage you are at that point in time.
Here are the three-stage instructions:
1. Prevention - the crucial stage
In your normal, everyday life conditions, in which you don’t feel any pain or suffering, you must take some time for the work on yourself. It is not only the work on preventing the hardships; it is rather the work for achieving inner transformation in a positive sense.
In other words, we must face the negativities of our life, but it is not good to focus on them too often and too much. We could define it only as a preventive work, but that would imply avoiding something negative. Instead, to be more aimed at a positive transformation, we will also call it the happiness work.
It should include:
We must face the negativities of our life, but it is not good to focus on them too often and too much.
This work should be well organized and scheduled. It would be great if you could create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening. These sitting sessions should be scheduled for the same periods of the day, if possible. This regular practice should also include loving-kindness meditation.
It would be great if you could create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening.
There are countless types and variations of meditation out there. For example, you may practice vipassana, breath meditation, body awareness, walking meditation, pure awareness meditation, Kriya Yoga or something else. Or, you can concentrate your mind on something, e.g., on a single dot on the wall, on a figure of Buddha or another divine being, on a flame of a candle, etc.
However, the Reintegration System has several meditative practices to offer, too:
In all of these methods, you don’t ignore or suppress the emerging thoughts and emotions during the sitting. On the contrary, you reintegrate them entirely with your whole being. Check out the above links to learn how to meditate.
An essential part of your sitting practice should be the loving-kindness meditation. So, don’t forget to include at least 5 minutes of this practice into your regular meditation sittings, preferably at the end of each.
An essential part of your sitting practice should be the loving-kindness meditation.
Meditation brings you:
These are not claims; these are the facts. Scientific research has confirmed them, and you can check it out on the Internet and numerous scientific magazines.
What’s more important for some practitioners, meditation, together with mindfulness, will expand your consciousness and can ultimately lead you to spiritual liberation or enlightenment. The veils of ignorance and suffering will gradually (or even suddenly) lift up, and you will eventually experience Pure Consciousness as a permanent state of being.
Another vital part of your regular happiness work is mindfulness. It simply means to live in the present moment consciously. If you want to be mindful, you will have to do any activity in such a way that you are fully conscious of yourself and of the activity itself.
Although many people don’t consider mindfulness as strictly spiritual, it is indeed a spiritual practice. It leads you to your True nature while dissolving your inner conflicts softly and imperceptibly. Moreover, conscious moments in the Now will gradually accumulate and make your whole life easier.
When mindfulness becomes your natural way of living, you will enjoy every task; you will become light and, in a strange way, even transparent. You will start sensing some inexplicable joy and deep inner peace. You will feel love more and more, both for yourself and for people around you.
Mindfulness will abate or even prevent challenges.
Pure consciousness in everyday life will enable you to do any task perfectly. All your relationships will gradually improve in various subtle ways. You will be in perfect harmony with the world; your body will move lightly and flawlessly; your mind will function impeccably whenever needed, and all your actions will be done in the most effective way.
However, without regular meditation sittings, Reintegration work and a healthy lifestyle, your mindfulness can quickly lose its foundation. Therefore, it is highly recommended to practice them concurrently.
Designate some time every so often, if possible every day, for doing a comprehensive scan of your past traumatic experiences, using the timeline method; treat them with the Dissolving the Temporary I Plus (DTI+) technique, one by one. If you recognize in those memories a pattern, situation or person that is reoccurring in your present life, write that down immediately and deal with it later, using the Inner Triangle, Single Chain or Double Chain techniques.
Think about all persons in your vicinity (family, co-workers, friends, acquaintances) that you have issues with. Recognize your own suppressed emotions, beliefs, rules or traits that are projected onto those persons. Do the Inner Triangle or Inner Polygram process (“Two-Way Communication”) on all of them. When you finish it, do the Inner Polygram process (“One-Way Communication”) several times.
Make a list of all other challenging situations or circumstances in your life. Work on them with the Inner Triangle or Chain techniques.
Do regularly the Reintegration work with all other parts of your personality, such as:
Recognize the signs and clues of an upcoming issue in your everyday life or during meditation. It may be a sudden coincidence, synchronicity or dream. Don’t miss that opportunity – enter the state of Presence and reintegrate the corresponding part as soon as possible.
These practices will cover almost all other segments of your everyday life:
All of this will enable you to either avoid the hardships or to decrease their expressions in the future radically.
 These protocols are very powerful. They have been thoroughly described in “Inner Peace, Outer Success” and “Inner Freedom Techniques.”
 The Inner Polygram process (both One-Way and Two-Way Communication variations) have also been
described in “Inner Peace, Outer Success” and “Inner Freedom Techniques.”
2. Within the hardship
But sometimes, despite all the preventive or happiness work, adversities are inevitable. What to do when they do come?
We can deal with them at the hardship’s very beginning and during its full intensity. As it’s the case with fire, it’s always much easier to extinguish it at its very beginning, than a few minutes later, when it gets strength and spreads fiercely around the area.
But sometimes, despite all the preventive or happiness work, adversities are inevitable.
Dealing with the hardship at its very beginning:
So, you have to be very cautious at this point: the problem should not be allowed to develop and expand, but at the same time you must not suppress or ignore it. You must become aware of it, accept it, and enter the state of Presence in the here and now.
There is an excellent quotation from the Carol Anthony’s book “I Ching,” which gives us excellent advice on how to deal with the hardship at its very beginning:
“Hexagram 33, ‘Retreat’:
The situation is such that our ego is about to be aroused in conflict either with ourself or with someone else. It is important to disengage before we have become involved in striving. To retreat in time means ‘no remorse,’ because we have not yet had an adverse effect on the situation, and we can retreat with little effort. But, once our pride is aroused, it is very hard to disperse its pressure and return to the path of humility and acceptance. In allowing our ego to dominate the situation, we suffer setbacks and humiliation. Then it is necessary to go back to where we left our path and start over again. All these things cause remorse which can be avoided if we retreat at the right time.
The correct time for retreat comes when others are not receptive to us when delicacy of feeling is lost when we begin to be attacked by doubt, or when our actions no longer yield progress. (…) We must attune ourselves to this wave-like time, quickly disconnecting when receptivity and openness declines. This is necessary because our ego awakens the moment it perceives the opportunity to influence; if we are unaware of its sudden interest and enthusiasm, it tries to impress its importance upon what is otherwise a spontaneous and creative moment. When this happens, the other person's ego arises to defend itself. Thus, the superior man is on guard against his own ego and disconnects at its first awakening. (…)
As long as we strive, the situation will remain obdurate. By retreating, the obdurate elements are de-energized and subside.”
Dealing with the hardship during its full intensity:
However, you may easily find yourself in the middle of the problem, which means you have missed the previous step - dealing with the hardship at its very beginning. Of course, it’s not too late. The “only” setback is that the pain, either physical or emotional, or both, can be excruciating. It may easily overwhelm your mind so much that you forget actually to deal with it in a proper way, consciously.
So, let’s say you are in the middle of the hardship now. You have just become aware that you haven’t been present.
If possible, fully accept the circumstances and enter the state of Presence immediately. I’m saying “if possible,” because very often it is just too hard to accept the unpleasant situation and to shift one’s awareness to here and now, due to strong emotions, pain and other difficulties.
If you cannot accept the situation and enter the present moment, I recommend doing this, step by step:
If you still cannot accept the painful situation, do the Dissolving the Temporary I (DTI) technique instead. This should naturally bring you into the state of Pure Consciousness, or Presence, or at least enable you to enter that state.
Then, if the situation allows, continue with these steps:
If you do all these steps during the hard situation, congratulations! You are most probably close to freeing yourself permanently of that kind of challenges in your life.
 Hopefully, the problematic situation or person can be the very trigger for your awareness. At least try to make it so. Later, during your free time, make a firm decision, with a help of visualization of the situation, that, whenever those problematic circumstances come up, you will immediately become aware that you need to deal with it consciously.
3. After the hardship
However, there are probably leftovers from the problem - traces of negative emotions, stress, and trauma. Moreover, although we now know how and when to deal with difficulties, we still might easily get overwhelmed with them and forget to respond properly. Therefore, we definitely must deal with the corresponding unintegrated parts of our personality after the hardship.
As said before, you have to exploit the fact that the recent trouble is still fresh. You can quickly recall the unpleasant emotions and memories and work methodically on them. Take this opportunity for learning valuable life lessons and expanding your consciousness.
You have to exploit the fact that the recent trouble is still fresh.
This stage consists of:
1) Recapitulation with journaling.
Designate a notebook for your practice of everyday journaling. As soon as you get some free time, take your notebook and describe in detail your trouble. Don’t limit your expressions; be entirely open to yourself, like in a diary. Write down not only what happened, but also all your accompanying thoughts and emotions. This will unclutter your stressed mind and remove a lot of burden from it.
Note that regular journaling is a genuinely beneficial practice. I would recommend doing it every day before sleeping, with noting your main tasks for tomorrow. This practice will significantly relieve your mind before bedtime and greatly improve your sleep.
2) Take full responsibility.
After the journaling session related to your challenge, make a firm decision that you are the only responsible person for the challenging events and your whole life. You are the source. Even if someone treated you unjustly or offensively for no apparent reason, you are still responsible. You unconsciously involved yourself in the unfortunate circumstances, because that specific part of your being was “hungry” and needed some negative energy to “feed” itself.
Taking complete responsibility for the problem is an essential change of attitude that will prepare you for effective inner work.
Now, you have to deal with the part of your personality that expressed itself through the challenging situation. If you want to solve your problem permanently, you must reintegrate that part back into the wholeness of your being.
3) Recognize the corresponding part.
But, identifying the aspect of your psyche that is the source of the hardship is not an easy task at all. To achieve that, you must contemplate thoroughly the difficulty that has just passed. Ask yourself: “Which part of me expressed itself in this situation?” Be open to thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Remember, you are responsible. One or more parts of you are the source of the challenge, and you have to recognize them.
When you identify the part or parts, you are ready to begin the real reintegration work.
4) Reintegration work.
As already described before, the parts of your personality that you can work with can be:
So, what to do with all these elements of personality?
In short, we should always face them, accept them wholeheartedly, and finally, transform and reintegrate them entirely with our being, using an appropriate technique. We should never fight them! All these aspects have deeply hidden, genuinely positive intentions for us. Those intentions have been gradually distorted into apparently negative behavior during extended periods of time, because of numerous misconceptions, limited perception, and challenging environment.
But, how do we reintegrate them? There are countless approaches to this subject. The mainstream psychology is one of them. It is scientifically approved and confirmed, and consequently pretty safe. But it’s also very slow. On the other hand, there are many alternative methodologies, which could be much more efficient and faster but burdened with higher risk. It’s up to you to choose.
Nevertheless, the Reintegration System has extremely powerful tools for integrating these aspects of your being. As mentioned before, the most comprehensive technique is the Inner Triangle. It can be done through solo work; however, it gives best results if it’s executed with an instructor or an experienced friend who would lead you through the process.
There are also other Reintegration techniques suitable for dealing with the parts of personality, like the Single Chain technique, Double Chain technique or the Inner Polygram process. I would recommend here the Single Chain technique if you intend to work alone.
What to do with all these elements of personality?
However, if you don’t have time for doing all these steps, do the Total Acceptance meditation instead. The Total Acceptance approach has a transformative power virtually in every field of our existence – spiritual, mental, emotional and even our physical life. For example, its strength is fully harnessed in one of the most effective methods for overcoming physical pain, “Accepting and Dwelling in Pain,” described in 5 Powerful Pain Relief Techniques.
The bottom line is: whatever you Totally Accept, it disappears from your field of consciousness. You become free from it.
Whatever you Totally Accept, it disappears from your field of consciousness. You become free from it.
If you don’t have time even for the Total Acceptance meditation, then try to accept the hardship completely, wholeheartedly. Accept, accept, accept… Whatever comes into your mind, the fresh memory of your troubling event, any emotion or thought, just Totally Accept it. Accept your hardship as many times as possible. You will undoubtedly feel relieved to some extent, depending on the intensity of emotions involved and on your perseverance, too.
Nonetheless, you will have to do the real Reintegration work on your troubling aspects, sooner or later.
Every change is stressful. It leads to unknown, and people typically fear the unknown. But if you open yourself to the unknown completely, you will experience new, immense freedom. You will expand your consciousness and regain inner powers that are inherent to your true being.
If you open yourself to the unknown completely, you will experience new, immense freedom.
Still, without suffering, we cannot grow. It is inevitable. Make it your friend. Face it and accept it. Work on its reintegration. It’s not easy, I know, but at least be determined and persevere. Sooner or later, you will become aware of divine roots of all your problems. Suffering is here to teach you a new lesson and to help you in a way that is, perhaps, not yet comprehensible to your mind.
Of course, it is better to learn the lessons through wisdom, instead of pain. Whenever we reintegrate a part of our personality, we gain a valuable lesson. Whenever we fully accept a difficulty in our life or accept an unpleasant thought or emotion, we also learn a significant lesson.
So, when you are in a hardship, try to accept it. Accept all its aspects, all people that are involved, all your thoughts and emotions related to that situation. Every time you accept, immediately enter the state of Presence, the thoughtless awareness of being here and now. If you cannot remain present, and thoughts or emotions re-appear, accept again. Total Acceptance and Presence are the critical states for effective dealing with hardships.
In a Nutshell
There are three aspects of dealing with the hardship:
1. Prevention - the essential stage
It should include:
- Recognize problematic and suppressed aspects of your own being that are projected onto people that are close to you. Do the Inner Triangle or Inner Polygram process on all of them.
- Make a list of all other challenging situations or circumstances in your life. Work on them with the Inner Triangle or Chain techniques.
- Do regularly the Reintegration work with all other parts of your personality, such as general aspects of personality, habits, beliefs, decisions, rules, inclinations and desires, aversions and fears, guilt (including accusations and resentment), traumatic memories, other emotions, and personality traits;
2. Within the hardship
First, try to deal with the hardship at its very beginning in this way:
However, if you find yourself in the middle of the hardship, during its full intensity, try this:
3. After the hardship
This stage consists of:
Happy inner work! :-)
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