Working Wisely with Emotions
September 18, 2014MP3
Emotions are the primary organizers of the psyche, providing meaning, motivation, passion, and connectedness. We taste the fruits of meditation practice most directly when we learn to work wisely with emotions. When we feel our emotions are workable, we experience what the Tibetans call the “lion’s roar” of confidence that we can handle all that lift throws at us. Ends with a guided meditation on the RAIN approach to emotions.
The Only Thing to Fear is the Fear of Fear of Fear Itself
October 2, 2014MP3
Avoidance is the basic energy of fear and a big part of the avoidance is the fear of fear itself. With mindfulness and kindness we turn the tables and open to the experience of fear, immediately breaking the momentum of fear in the process. Learning to be comfortable with fear is the key to bravery and as we do so, we begin to take more risks and live more fully. For the guided RAIN meditation on working with fear, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Power of No: Transforming Anger into a Constructive Force
October 30, 2014MP3
Anger is widely misunderstood in Buddhist circles, typically seen as a negative and unspiritual force. While anger certainly causes much harm and is the root of violence, it also has constructive roles to play. Meditation can reveal the important messages anger holds about our needs, our boundaries, the areas of our psyche that want healing, and our care about the state of the world. As we make friends with anger, the meditative process transforms its energy into discriminating wisdom. Ends with a guided meditation on being mindful of anger.
The Power of No, Part 2: Strength, Protection, and Fierce Compassion
November 20, 2014MP3
Meditation can transmute anger into the constructive energy of fierce compassion Such strength, at times, needs to be evoked to protect ourselves against egoic obstruction on the spiritual path. Fierce compassion, unlike deluded anger, is free of aversion, and attachment to view or attachment to results. This energy also helps us undertake difficult actions with clarity and courage. Includes two guided meditations to contact strength.
Your Emotional Untruth
September 18, 2016MP3
While we take our emotions to be the rock bottom truth of the psyche, in fact, the worst time to believe a thought is in the midst of a difficult state. In such times, the amygdala in the brain prevents access to our full cognitive abilities and we fail to see how conditioned, biased, and error-prone our thoughts are. This causes much suffering for ourselves and others. Mindfulness of thinking helps us be much less afflicted by our difficult states.
The Emotions as a Path of Awakening
Awakening the Heart in Nature Retreat, Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, October 3, 2017MP3
Our difficult emotions are typically seen as obstacles to our ability to meditate. But, as the proverb says, the obstacle is the path and we can make such emotions the very focus of our attention. Through repeated practice, we gain a confidence that our emotions as workable. Since difficult emotions are where we get most identified and suffer the most, seeing their true nature as impersonal, conditioned experiences has great potential to liberate us out of our separate selves and into a sense of deep belonging.