We all have emotions, desirable and undesirable, simple and complex, easy and difficult to deal with. Everyone struggles. But emotions are first and foremost formless and temporary. And behind them is an insight as to our present condition. Through mindful awareness of bodily sensation, we can rediscover this during a difficult period, thus opening ourselves to genuine insight.
When any sort of feeling comes up, be it a positive or negative/difficult one, our duty is to turn the light of awareness on it so that it can be felt or perceived in someway. Until we focus on the actual sensations accompanied with the emotion, without necessary trying to get rid of them, then insight might come. Focus on the sensations, as if it were a meditation, and if they become too intense, and you feel like you are hitting the point where you might “freak out” or otherwise become unable to be present with them, you simply stop. You open your eyes if they were closed, you stand if you were sitting, and you otherwise change your perspective. Instead of being focused completely internally, check outside your window for a minute. What is the sun doing? Are the stars out? It doesn’t take long. A few minutes will do.
Such a change in perspective after a meditation with emotions is helpful to remind us that what we feel isn’t always all that is going on. Sometimes when we are overwhelmed with life’s challenges, and we all struggle with them, what we need to do is change our perspective and look outside of ourselves if we cannot be our own best refuge. Then, when things calm down again, look inside yourself. Perhaps there is contentment? More of the same? Perhaps a lingering trace of difficult emotion that we can actually handle without it disturbing our peace? Only with awareness can we look into these formless and temporary conditions, and knowing they are temporary and formless, we can acknowledge them with grace and ease until the insight they are trying to bring us comes to light.
-David Bonilla LA.c