Recording and listening has become essential when I'm faced with sticky content...and there seems to be a lot of sticky content these days.
“Sticky content” can be any events, issues, or situations that egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate uses to pull me out of the present moment, into the dark room, and away from center. It’s always associated with unfortunate emotional energy: anger, hate, fear, outrage, or resentment. In fact, the energy attached to the sticky content is the signal for me to dig deeply into practice.
Never underestimate ego's ability to stir stuff up and create a crisis where there is none. Ego lies about the facts and projects motivations onto others, so it is helpful when I record what actually happened. Then, after recording, I listen very carefully to make sure that what I recorded were true, objective facts. This makes it easy to catch ego's tricks and I Record and Listen about the bamboozle.
Next, I record why this content is so sticky. What is the deep belief or story? Am “I” angry because “I'm” hurt, or afraid? Am “I” upset because an unstated expectation was not met? Am “I” sad because “I've” clung to something that is impermanent or “I” believe someone is not adequate to their life?
This is the difficult part of the process. “I” will cry, yell, and sometimes curse. Recording and Listening is a safe place to let it all out. (Lancing a foul abscess is not too strong a comparison.) The release of energy is cathartic. There is no other socially acceptable place or space to do this work. When I listen, I'm often surprised at the depth of the closely held belief. I find that I'm identified with egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate. Every. Single. Time.
So I've Recorded and Listened to the facts, drained the pus of identification and decompressed the emotional energy, and I have learned what I could.
This next step is critical. Now it is time to drop the sticky content for good.
I set my intention to not entertain internal or external conversations about this content again. I make a commitment plan about what I will do when conditioning wants to talk about this specific content. For example, if I hear that conversation, I will say the daily recollection, sing my favorite gospel song, turn up the volume of my reassurances, or walk the dog.
Egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate despises this! It will drop the conversation just to avoid something that robs it of attention and gives me control.
If egocentric karmic conditioning/self -hate persists in ruminating about the sticky content, then I ask and record about "What am I choosing over ending suffering?" That recording is usually enlightening. Then I ask the question, "is it worth it?" The answer is always no! These last recordings reaffirm my commitment to end suffering and I play them often.
In writing this, I realize that this is essentially a modified two-handed Recording and Listening exercise that lasts over a few days. Regardless of the name, the process helps me drop sticky content in hours or days. In the past egocentric karmic condition/self-hate would cling to sticky content for months or years.
I am so grateful for Recording and Listening Practice.
When struggling with sticky content, record the answer to these questions: "What am I choosing over ending suffering?" "Is it worth the suffering?" "What can I drop so I can end suffering?" Listen frequently.