The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Emotions

An emotion is only an emotion

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“An emotion is only an emotion. It’s just a small part of your whole being. You are much more than your emotion. An emotion comes, stays for a while, and goes away, just like a storm. If you’re aware of that, you won’t be afraid of your emotions.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh~
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A Treatise on White Magic

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Study your daily conduct and words and thoughts so as to make them utterly harmless. Set yourself to think those thoughts about yourself and others which will be constructive and positive, and hence harmless in their effects. Study your emotional effect on others so that by no mood, no depression, and no emotional reaction can you harm a fellow traveler. Remember in this connection, violent spiritual aspiration and enthusiasm, misplaced or misdirected, may quite easily harm another, so look not only at your wrong tendencies but at the use of your virtues.


If harmlessness is the keynote of your life, you will do more to produce right harmonious conditions in your personality than any amount of discipline along other lines. The drastic purgation brought about by the attempt to be harmless will go far to eliminate wrong states of consciousness. See to it therefore, and bring this idea in your evening review.
– A Treatise on White Magic

Stopping the extreme swings of the emotional pendulum

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Our emotions propel us through extremes, from elation to depression, from good experiences to bad, from happiness to sadness: a constant swinging back and forth. Emotionality is the by-product of hope and fear, attachment and aversion. We have hope because we are attached to something we want. We have fear because we are averse to something we don’t want. As we follow our emotions, reacting to our experiences, we create karma: a perpetual motion that inevitably determines our future. We need to stop the extreme swings of the emotional pendulum so that we can find a place of centeredness.– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche


Looking at the looker

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Applying attention practice, we use our emotions as a focus for developing awareness, an opportunity to look at the ‘looker’. Just as we need sound to look at sound, form to look at form, we need emotions to look at emotions. In fact, intense emotions can be our best friends in terms of stabilizing the mind, giving the restless bird a branch on which to rest.

– Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book “Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom”

Just Dharma Quotes


Like a cloud passing through the sky

An emotion is like a cloud passing through the sky. Sometimes it is fear or anger, sometimes it is happiness or love, sometimes it is compassion. But none of them ultimately constitute a self. They are just what they are, each manifesting its own quality. With this understanding, we can cultivate the emotions that seem helpful and simply let the others be, without aversion, without suppression, without identification.

– Joseph Goldstein

from the book “Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom”


Emotions

 

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com

April 12, 2018

We develop habitual tendencies through one or more lifetimes, predisposing us to manifest a habitual state of mind. With these tendencies established, we perceive an individual person, an object, or situation, and immediately generate a pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferent feeling associated with the perception.

Because the nature of the mind is analytical, it proceeds to isolate the positive or negative qualities that we associate with the pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferent feeling, thus exaggerating the positive or negative qualities and generating and fixating the disturbing emotion.

Although we think and feel that the emotions are somehow related to (or even caused by) particular people, objects, or situations, they are just internal mental events. They project our attention unto these externals, and as long as we comply, the emotions are sustained.

However, when we look at the emotion, it self-liberates, it ceases to have power. The ‘trick’ is precisely to change our focus of attention, to observe the emotion, instead of its object.

The instant we observe the emotion itself (and not its putative object), it becomes evident that it has no real basis. We have simply imputed it, projected it onto an external person, object, or situation. It is of our own making.

The more we practice observing our afflicted emotions, the less powerful they become, and the faster they retreat. If we can anthropomorphize emotions for a moment here, once their chicanery is revealed, they slink away in shame.

So, what are these emotions, if what we feel are just distorted, imputed projections? Just like cold does not exist from its own side (it is merely the absence of heat), these afflicted emotions are only absences of specific aspects of primordial wisdom.

Attachment is the absence of the wisdom of discernment; aversion is the absence of mirror-like wisdom; indifference is the absence of the wisdom of suchness; pride is the absence of the wisdom of equality; and envy is the absence of all-accomplishing wisdom.

When we directly observe afflicted emotions, since they are mere absences, their true basis shines through, if only briefly. That is why we can recognize them for what they are: emptinesses.