Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

14. Focus on comfort alongside discomfort

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

So far, you’ve learned core aspects of the stillness practice. To initiate stillness, you have dedicated time to suspending movement, remaining still, and following your breath. You have softened muscles and strengthened groundedness to deepen restfulness. You have also learned to detect signs of comfort, calmness, and wellness that emerge from restful stillness, and to endure any discomfort you may encounter.

In this final practice, you will strengthen your ability to experience comfort alongside discomfort, allowing these opposite sensations to coexist within your body. You will focus on the comfort of restful stillness while also acknowledging any discomfort you may encounter.

The ability to prioritize attention to comfort over discomfort is fundamental in your 51BLUE Neurotraining. This involves simultaneously learning to attentively accommodate, endure, and gradually address any discomfort, especially when it is emotional in nature.

Differentiating Comfort and discomfort

Discerning between inner experiences of comfort and discomfort can sometimes be challenging. For instance, you might encounter a sensation that isn’t overtly uncomfortable, yet it’s not clear if it can be described as comfortable either.

In 51BLUE Neurotraining, the concepts of ‘comfort’ and ‘discomfort’ are clearly defined. ‘Comfort’ refers to inner experiences that you wish to extend, sense more deeply, or experience again. In contrast, ‘discomfort’ pertains to inner experiences that you prefer to eliminate or reduce.

To determine if a sensation is comfortable, ask yourself whether you wish for it to persist, deepen, and ideally, spread. Conversely, for discomfort, determine whether you would prefer the sensation to disappear. When an experience feels neutral, consider whether you would want this experience to intensify and spread. If your response is negative, then it should be regarded as discomfort.

Attention demanding discomfort

In this practice, you train your ability to experience comfort alongside any discomfort you may also feel. These uncomfortable sensations may demand a lot of your attention, making it challenging to remain focused on the experiences of resting comfort.

If discomfort demands significant attention, gently refocus on the comfort, calmness, and wellness of restful stillness.

When discomfort continues to dominate and you lose awareness of comfort, confirm that it is safe to experience discomfort and acknowledge your dislike of it. Then, with patience and persistence, guide your attention back to the comforting experiences of your stillness and rest.

Adding comfort versus removing discomfort

The practice of stillness encourages you to increase comfort without instantly or entirely removing discomfort. In this practice, you learn to acknowledge discomfort but then shift your focus to comfort and calmness, which can coexist with discomfort.

This approach of prioritizing and enhancing comfort, rather than concentrating on discomfort and trying to eliminate it, represents a significant shift in perspective. If your aim is to increase comfort, you focus on the softest and most comfortable sensations in your body, deepen them, and encourage them to spread. On the other hand, if you want to instantly reduce discomfort, you’re likely to focus on the tensest, most uncomfortable sensations in your body and seek ways to remove them.

The practice of stillness aims to generate enough comfort, allowing you to acknowledge and endure discomforts. This approach allows you to recognize the significance of inner unease and gradually address it with patience and wisdom.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I sense comfort, calmness, and wellness in my body arising from restful stillness?
  • Can I become aware of discomfort in my body?
  • Can I direct my attention to the comfort of restful stillness even when discomfort demands my attention?
  • Can I sense comfort alongside discomfort?
  • Can I recognize the benefits emerging from restful stillness, and despite the presence of discomfort, awaken the motivation to further cultivate this practice?
  • Can I allow for comfort and discomfort to coexist within my restful and still body?
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