Difficult emotions – how to live with them?

Difficult emotions – how to live with them? Part 3

Be curious… just be and observe. Just as you sometimes see leaves in the wind as they rise and fall.

Jon Kabatt Zin defines mindfulness as an impartial observation of what is happening. Without looking for causes and without trying to control. If we try to control our emotions, we can at most deny or suppress them… only for them to come back with redoubled strength. At this stage, do not label any of these emotions, just observe what is happening. It is about stopping in the present and the patient noticing of what appears and disappears. Awareness is applied on four levels: body, feelings, mind and observation of the whole experience. When we focus on the body and breath, our sensations and thoughts appear and go, like ocean waves, changing their frequency, intensity and duration. Through careful, accepting observation, we become aware of the impermanence of all our experiences. We notice how the emotions change in us. A careful observation weakens our propensity for automatic reactions and unconditions our mind, which becomes the basis for profound changes.

If you stir the sand that is on the bottom of water, it will settle to the bottom over time. However if you continue to mix, the sand will never drop, it will circulate and make the water turbid. Our mind works similarly …

 

“Our emotions are capricious, like the weather in London.

One minute, when someone criticises us, we are offended and furious.

The next minute, when someone praises us, we feel proud and pompous.

Unless we recognise the still point beneath the surface of our changing emotions,

We will feel we are hostage to their whims.”

Haemin Sunim

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