seriously, no one else has any ideas? dealing with emotion?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: seriously, no one else has any ideas? dealing with emotion?

Postby sattva » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:31 pm

Hi Johnny!
Interesting syncronicity, I just bought 2 books from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective. One is by the Dalai Lama and Parl Ekman called Emotional Awareness and the other by Pema Chodron is Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. I consider myself an all around Buddhist, but Zen is my main focus. So, you might want to think on it before you follow anything I say. It was mentioned to be with the emotion. What this means from a Zen and I think Tibetan and possible even a Theravadan perspective is that you don't try to change what you are feeling. So, if you are anxious, just be anxious. Put all your awareness into that emotion. Recently, I received some hard news and i "needed" to cry. So, I did, but it didn't last long. If i had tried to suppress it, it might have lasted longer. Pema Chodron has talked in several of her books about how the usual thing is to try to escape whatever difficult emotional state we are feeling. So even meditation can be used as a means of escape. Fortunately though, it has been my experience that practice brings up painful memories and mindstates at times. If you only want the good states, you will try like crazy to recreate them and that can stifle real progress on the path.

Well there is my 2 cents. Whatever happens, I wish you well and much happiness and many years to practice this wonderful path. :namaste:
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Re: seriously, no one else has any ideas? dealing with emotion?

Postby johnny » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:50 pm

sattva wrote:Hi Johnny!
Interesting syncronicity, I just bought 2 books from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective. One is by the Dalai Lama and Parl Ekman called Emotional Awareness and the other by Pema Chodron is Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. I consider myself an all around Buddhist, but Zen is my main focus. So, you might want to think on it before you follow anything I say. It was mentioned to be with the emotion. What this means from a Zen and I think Tibetan and possible even a Theravadan perspective is that you don't try to change what you are feeling. So, if you are anxious, just be anxious. Put all your awareness into that emotion. Recently, I received some hard news and i "needed" to cry. So, I did, but it didn't last long. If i had tried to suppress it, it might have lasted longer. Pema Chodron has talked in several of her books about how the usual thing is to try to escape whatever difficult emotional state we are feeling. So even meditation can be used as a means of escape. Fortunately though, it has been my experience that practice brings up painful memories and mindstates at times. If you only want the good states, you will try like crazy to recreate them and that can stifle real progress on the path.

Well there is my 2 cents. Whatever happens, I wish you well and much happiness and many years to practice this wonderful path. :namaste:


i've contemplated this many times and it certainly is true. i feel like there must be some kind of balance. i had a zen teacher once tell me too stay away from good emotions and not let them get me into a happy mode because that always ends and then you feel bad by comparison. but i wonder if that's really healthy? then you are just numb all the time. i really don't know the answers, i'm just musing. thanks for the excellent post!
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
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