When learning about our mind using mindfulness we are quickly able to feel different parts of our body correspond to different feelings. The negative habits of mind that we have can often create pockets of what I call dark inertia, the mucous-like clouds of ignorance-based energy we can feel in our body that always corresponds to negative habits of mind. The energy system of the body is greatly associated with this phenomenon (see “The Chakras” and “Awareness of the Inner Body”). When we have states of mind like laziness, selfishness, frustration, and attachment, these places of dark inertia help perpetuate those states of mind, and are often the place where they arise in our body. When we become aware of those places in us, we bring presence to them, send love to them, and our feelings follow suit. When we help clear these places of dark inertia we help relieve some of the basis of these negative emotions. Mindfulness of the body and feelings together is what the practice is called to deepen our presence to this phenomenon and hopefully help ourselves in the future. Notice where anger arises in your body, or fear, or selfishness. In your heart? In your throat? In your gut? Be present to this and you will deepen your practice.
The nature of dark inertia has two aspects, one that relates to awareness and one that relates to the heart's true expression. For awareness, it is always the lack thereof, ignorance. Dark inertia is always based in ignorance, ignorance of how to be true, to love, or to know the truth and ultimately the nature of reality (see “Emptiness- The Ultimate Reality”). For the heart's true expression, dark inertia is the habit or disposition to the contrary, that which is disposed to negativity and therefore contrary to love. It feels bad, in a heartfelt sense, like a sickness. It is like gray clouds that block the open flow of the heart and mind and therefore the energy of the body. These clouds are always self-referential: for themselves, by themselves, of themselves. They are solipsistic in their nature. As soon as we open up to reality and to others, these places of dark inertia loose their power and are purified. Purification practices will help dissolve these places in us (see “Purification”).
Dark inertia is a helping basis for negativity in our lives and will grow if they are perpetuated without awareness and love. If we have the ability to change our mental habits through love and awareness we are able to transform and purify these places of dark inertia in us. Purification practice is a primary method for overcoming dark inertia. May you be strong in your mindfulness and in your practice that dark inertia will not have it's egoic power over you and you can live life in freedom.