Embrace your emotions rather than resist them.
Meditation Practice is difficult to start, and even more difficult to maintain in the beginning, because most often our emotions cause resistance to obtaining the Peace we are seeking.
Let’s face it, meditation practice is already a confusing and unknown inner landscape, and when the “Stories of the Mind” are observed up close in Awareness, old and un-settled emotions creep up on us.
Many of my clients in early stages of their practice come face-to-face with this “condition” of the mind. It occurs simply because in our waking life we have become very successful at keeping the Rational Mind busy, distracted, and engaged in activities designed to fill us up with a sense of purpose.
So of course, as one begins to practice meditation, it is in the Stillness that these old beliefs, hurts, and unresolved life issues seem to “drudge” up from deep within. As this occurs, the emotions from old “Stories of the Mind” begin to play loud and clear while you are sitting with no other distractions.
You know these stories…they play in your mind like an old broken record, “you really messed that up back then,” or ” you could have done that better,” or “what were you thinking when you did that?”
These types of thoughts are of course tangled up in emotions, and it is those exact emotions that we spend so much time trying to avoid.
However, these exact emotions are excellent Teachers, and here is how to use them to assist you in your practice:
1. In Meditation, you are the Observer. Pretend you are a scientist or detective on a case and you are looking for clues. This will “separate” you from the Story of the Mind and allow you to watch it from a higher perspective.
2. Let the Story play out. Now that time has passed, and because you have been engaged in your Spiritual practice for awhile, the participants in the story may begin to look different. For example, if you had a fight with your sister 2 years ago, and still feel angry…when you let the story play out NOW, in the place of your present moment Awareness, you may notice that you really no longer feel angry. Perhaps NOW you may notice that you can actually cultivate compassion for her instead of anger.
3. Allow the emotions to rise and fall. Experiencing the emotion “head-on” in the middle of a meditation…there is no escaping it!!! Allow the emotion to come in…increase, and then notice how it fades. Because….because you now as the Observer, you will notice that a new thought will pop up very quickly, and a new emotion will come into being.
4. You learn by Observation. Already, within moments, you will have both noticed, and experienced the rise and fall of emotions and will “see” first hand that these type of emotions are fleeting…they are attached to thoughts. This observational experience leads you to the next lesson…
5. By becoming fully Aware of your Thoughts, you can change the emotion that follows. NOW, here in this place of Observation, you can ask yourself one or two questions:
“Do I really believe this Story of the Mind?”
or… “What is the lesson this Story is trying to teach me?”
See…now you have a new level of Awareness! The answers to the questions may not come in that sitting. But! Because your subconscious is aware that you have noticed this lesson it has been trying to teach you for many, many years…the inner workings of your mind will begin to teach you the lesson and resolve the issue.
Overall, emotions ARE your inner GPS system and can be used as a wonderful and loving inner guidance system. When you are feeling joyful, peaceful, confident, and calm, you know you are engaged in actions that support your Highest Nature. On the flip-side, if you are experiencing fear, doubt, anxiety, depression…you know that you are being taken for a “ride” by old ideas that clearly are not in alignment with the highest expression of yourself.
Instead of resisting these emotions, or creating distractions from them, I encourage you to sit with them, as the Observer, and ask them face-to-face, “What is the Lesson to Learn?”
Once you hear the Truth of that story…it will never play again because you will have released it.
May you know this Peace.
Many Blessings, ~ Melinda