What’s the Inner Critic?
- A sub-personality
- A manifestation of one’s Self view
- A filter that colors our everyday life
- Continuously judging and blaming us
- It may have its origin in childhood
- But we are construing it in our mind everyday
- Its power is in its vagueness
- The more we focus our attention on it, the more it loses power
Effects on Us
- Creates a sense of inadequacy, not being enough, Fear
- It suppresses deep seated needs of human beings:
- Capacity for self-expression and
- Capacity for intimacy and revealing oneself
- Sometimes it affects even our relationships
- We project it onto others and feel judged
- The inner critic is prevalent in our society
- Individualism and consumerism all contribute to its formation
- Even if we are not very materialistic, the air we breathe favors the inner critic
How it Affects Practice
- “Should” comes into practice
- Creates pressure
- Removes intrinsic motivation
- Takes the joy out of practice, it doesn’t feel like a gift
- In reaction to the Inner Critic, we create the Inner Rebel
- Pressures us to not practice anymore
- Inner Rebel is a manifestation of a healthy life force
- IC stifles questioning in practice and ability to play
- It criticizes us when we get distracted, instead of allowing us to inquire
- We need to accept distraction to inquire, but IC won’t let us
- The only question IC allows us to ask is “Am I doing it right?”
- Can we instead ask “How am I?”
- Introduce kindness in practice
Ending the Inner Critic
- The IC is just a mental habit of negative thinking
- Practicing Metta -Loving Kindness- Meditation we create new habits of thinking
- Sow the seeds of kindness towards ourselves and all beings
- When IC is very strong, the Metta phrases may seem ridiculous, fake
- Over time this has tremendous effects
- May be tempted to keep the Metta towards ourselves only
- Directing Metta to all beings, we can’t help but be soaked into it
We do need love from others as well
- Dharma culture focuses on everything coming from inside us
- True on some levels, but love from others can also be extremely healing
- Can we let the IC be there?
- Give it kindness and give it space
- Instinctive reaction may be
The 5 Hindrances#Aversion
]], wanting to get rid of it
- The IC is a force of aversion, getting rid of aversion with aversion is like pouring gasoline on fire
- Each criticism ends up creating some pain in the body
- Can we be with it with kindness, warmth, care?
- The IC is a mix of feelings, thoughts, textures
- We re-create and strengthen the IC in our minds everyday
- Can we deconstruct them to each individual sensation and stay with each separately?
- e.g. listen to the tone of the voice, feel the sensations in the heart
- If we don’t “join the dots” we don’t give the IC the capacity to create vicious cycles
Questioning and Talking to the Inner Critic
- Am I believing the Inner Critic?
- Do I believe I am a bad person and I need to feel shame?
- Do I believe I am a phony, and it’s only a matter of time before others find out?
- Can I allow
The 5 Heroic Motivations#Great Doubt
]] to come in?
- Is this IC pattern giving me anything?
- A feeling of familiarity perhaps?
- Is it trying to protect me from something?
- Can we try conversating with the IC?
- Understand its fears, its instinctive behaviors, and perhaps we can re-assure him
Re-claiming our Power
- Is meditation disconnecting us from our power?
- The Inner Rebel, rebelling against the IC, is one manifestation of our power
- Power to say no, that’s enough
- How can we connect with our inner power?
- Metta can feel powerful
- Connecting with the feelings of energy in the body
- Connecting with the Inner Rebel, and its images
- Using the intellect, to question and outsmart the IC
Other Ways to Gradually Weaken the IC
Focusing on our Qualities
- Not an ego trick
- Culture pressures us to assess our success by worldy achievements
- What would it be like to measure ourselves by how ethically we live?
- Kindness, generosity etc…. Qualities that our heart longs for
Living Rooted in our Deepest Desire
- If we are living in accordance to what we truly desire, there will be less room for the comparing and judging mind to step in and bother us
Realizing Dependent Co-Arising
- We are quick to blame and criticize our Self when we make a mistake or act unskillfully
- We can learn to realize that all our actions are based on causes and conditions
- Maybe you were stressed, tired etc…
- WHere is the Self?
Created on: 2021-04-24
Inspired by: Rob Burbea
Internal Family System (IFS)
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