Persons practice meditation for different purposes. Some seek one of meditation’s many benefits for the entire body, mind, and relationships; others are seeking personal growth, emotional curing, or spiritual development. Irrespective of what your primary intention was for starting the practice, if you meditate long enough, you are guaranteed to discover many things about yourself–some of which may well not be pleasurable. This could be called the “shadow self”.
Each of our personality, along with our mindful thoughts, emotions, decisions and interactions with the world, all happen at the level of our mindful mind. However, that is merely the beginning of our consciousness. According to the teachings of some Asian contemplative philosophies, beneath this conscious layer of head there may be our subconscious brain and, even deeper, our unconscious mind. Modern traditional western psychology holds a similar view.
The information of our subconscious and unconscious brain is the structure of our personality. They are the hidden motivating pushes behind all of our decisions, thoughts and thoughts. They have a deep influence in our life, and yet we all know very little about them. Each of our conscious mind is so busy and agitated that we rarely get the chance to look further.
Meeting Your Shadow Home Through Meditation
Isn’t it dreadful to feel that what most influences your daily life are the things you are least aware of?
One of the major benefits associated with meditation is that it calms your conscious mind, allowing you to contact what is situated beneath. As well, that is also one of the main challenges of meditation–and the one which most people are not aware they may encounter.
Meditation and The Shadow Home
As yoga deepens, our attention commences to dive into the subconscious. The conscious brain becomes less busy, and the awareness is thus allowed to recede to deeper levels of our being. With that, things that you had subjugated, overpowered, oppressed, or chosen to neglect anytime, are there holding out for you.
Place include, among other things:
- difficult thoughts
- hidden traumas
- “wild desires”
- negative thought habits
- shame, guilt, rue
- aggressiveness, anger
- unconscious anxieties
- unresolved emotional processes
Once confronted with this for the first time, the newbie meditator may panic. They might think, “Since I began meditating, my mind has become busier”, or “Meditation is making me feel more anxious and tired. ”
The fact is that deep breathing is not making your mind more noisy or anxious. It’s simply unveiling the noise and stress that was already there. Now, with fewer disruptions, you see them all too clearly. It’s like allowing a cup of muddy water to negotiate, so you can evidently see all the dirt and grime that was already in water.
Apart from making your mind more calm down and clear, meditation also heightens your sensitivity, and sharpens your attention–so you will be able to perceive things in yourself that you were window blind to before. Trapped efforts in your psyche will come up. It is the opening of the “Pandora’s box” of your subconscious mind. It’s not always a gorgeous sight, but it is an indication of progress in the practice.
You are meeting–and freeing–your shadow!
Meeting The Shadow Self Through Deep breathing
Our shadow self consist of everything we feel embarrassed of thinking and sense, as well as every impulse that we have repressed, consciously or instinctively, for the sake of keeping ourselves tame, nice and “civilized”. According to Jungian analyst Aniela Jaffe, the shadow is the ”sum of most personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen mindful attitude, are denied manifestation in life”.
“Everyone has a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. “– Carl Gustav Jung
The idea, in Jungian psychotherapy, is that to seriously become a whole and recovered person, you need to fully integrate your darkness. You need to meet it face to face, understand it, unlock the secrets, and reuse it is energy. [Learn more about shadow work in this book. ]
This all messy work is portion of the liberating process of yoga. Meditation has always included this. But the question is: is acceptable for you? Will you be up for this concern?
Should you glimpse relaxation as a tool for private growth, healing, or spiritual development–you may say “Yeah! Let’s do it”.
But since you see yoga as a straightforward stress-relief exercise, or a no-pill strategy to manage depression, or a tool to improve your cognitive skills, then you might not need to go through this shadow work thing. “That’s not what I’ve authorized up for! “, you might rightfully object.
In any case, there are steps you can take to either avoid going through this in order to at least make the process feel safer and less frustrating.