While meditation has obvious benefits, it can also be used as an escape tactic – to shield oneself from problems and difficult situations.
Even advanced practitioners continue to use meditation for this purpose.
However, Buddhist mindfulness (and meditation) is not about escaping as much as it is about confronting your difficult situations.
Confronting Difficult Situations
Any difficult situation is best approached with a mindful presence. The ‘difficulty’ of the situation makes it harder to bring mindfulness to the table.
Next time you meditate, try and GO to unpleasant places that you had been avoiding all along – whether it be the loss of a close friend or any other emotional trauma in your past.
Simply going there with a meditative state of mind (just observing, not interacting) – will provide you with some comfort. You will realize that what you were always afraid of – is not real.
Read more in this amazing book by Pema Chodron – The places that scare you
Meditation , like any escape mechanism (T.V., stimulants etc.) can be used to escape difficult situations. While it may seem like you have avoided the difficulty, in reality, all you have done is postponed it.
To truly overcome the difficulty, you must approach the situation with a certain ‘fearlessness’ and composure. This is using meditation in the way it was meant to (at least in the Buddhist interpretation of meditative presence).
This, in itself, will help you overcome the fear of whatever emotional trauma still poses a difficulty for you.