A+ A A-

Buddhist Insight on How to Deal with our Emotions

emotions

In the past, I had no idea how to work with my emotions.

In fact, I knew little about them. Whenever something upsetting happened, I poured all my energy into changing the outer factors, and I paid little attention to my internal reaction.

Buddhism has introduced me to my internal world. It has taught me that my mind contributes to my experiences of happiness and unhappiness—and that my emotions are often the result of ways I have misinterpreted myself, my life, and the world.

It’s overwhelming to consider this at first, because we are used to thinking that happiness lies out there—in a person, a place, an object, or a situation. This is why we often neglect our emotions and attempt to change things on the outside, so they’ll suit our own needs.

 

However, the truth is that we can’t always change the world. When things don’t go as expected, we often become disillusioned. Still, the only thing we can change (or control) is our reaction to the world and what happens in it.

The emotions that we feel—fear, anxiety, hatred, sorrow, jealousy, happiness—are often the result of an outward action. Nonetheless, their nature is ephemeral. If we put aside our mental interference and investigate emotions the first moments they arise, we’ll realize that they slowly dissipate and get destroyed on their own.

According to Buddhist teachings, all sorts of emotions can be harmful—even the good ones. We might think that we become attached to people or objects, but the truth is that we get attached to the emotions they stir up in us (whether they be pleasurable or painful). That said, the desire to feel certain emotions is the reason we get attached and suffer.

The solution isn’t really about whether we should eliminate certain emotions or not. Emotions are part of our human experience, and we can’t stop ourselves from feeling them. However, what the Buddha was concerned about was how to get to a point where our emotions no longer overwhelm us.

Whether it’s happiness or hatred, how do we prevent it from controlling us?

The Buddha advised us to examine life’s experiences and our reaction to them. We must understand that every experience, person, or object is transient—and our emotions are also transient. An emotion is only fleeting, but it is further expanded through our mental judgment and analysis.

S.N. Goenka explains this beautifully:

“Every sensation shares the same characteristic: it arises and passes away, arises and passes away. It is this arising and passing that we have to experience through practice, not just accept as truth because Buddha said so, not just accept because intellectually it seems logical enough to us. We must experience sensation’s nature, understand its flux, and learn not to react to it.”

This is not being pessimistic; this is cultivating a realistic view on life. When we realize the impermanence of our emotions and experiences, our attitude will automatically balance itself. When faced with a new experience, instead of building expectations around it or getting attached to the feelings it inflicts on us, we deal with it from moment to moment.

Now, how do we discipline these emotions—or, as Goenka suggests: how do we stop reacting to them?

Buddhist philosophy recommends the development of self-observation, self-understanding, and insight. When an emotion arises, pause for a moment and bring awareness to your thoughts and reactions. This is the practice of mindfulness.

Watch the emotion as it arises. See what physical reactions it prompts. Don’t judge it, and don’t fuel it with thoughts. Let the emotion be, and don’t react to it with aversion or pleasure. We will notice that the action we take when our emotions are balanced again is conscious and healthy. However, the outer reaction we have when our emotions are running high can often be destructive to us and others.

Additionally, Buddhism stresses the importance of generating good intentions toward others—especially the ones who have hurt us. When someone harms us, we usually blame them—or we might want to hurt them back. Practicing Metta Bhavana is a good step toward learning how to forgive others and process our emotions of anger and hatred. We must believe that everyone is worthy of happiness, including ourselves.

And finally, meditation is a fascinating technique that the Buddha taught. Practicing meditation teaches us to return to our breath whenever we are faced with overwhelming emotions. It grounds us and puts us back in the present moment. Meditation also teaches us to familiarize ourselves with the emotions and thoughts we experience without judging them.

Learning to deal with overwhelming emotions is a process, and we must practice every day. It requires training, willingness, and (most importantly) patience.

Author: Elyane Youssef
Source

CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
Please donate a small gift of $11.11 or $22.22 or $33.33. 
Thank you! 
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
"Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."

© 2008-2020 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.

  Please buy us a coffee!
 
 
Pin It

Free Reading Here!!

crystal-wind-oracle-mobile-app
 
Cut Through The Illusions!
Available On The
Apple  / Android / Amazon
NEW Expanded Version - 53 cards!

Articles: Buddhism

Who is Online Now

We have 922 guests and no members online

Featured This Month

Page:

Sun in Libra

Sun in Libra

An Overview of Sun Sign Characteristics for Libra The ruler of Libra is Ven... Read more

Mabon

Mabon

Mabon 2020 will begin on Monday, September 21 and ends on&nbs... Read more

Autumn Equinox Meditation

Autumn Equinox Meditation

Please join us in celebrating the Autumn Equinox! This is an ideal time to co... Read more

Autumn Equinox

Autumn Equinox

The Autumn Equinox is a time of harvesting and preparation. It is a time to ... Read more

Mabon Modern Style

Mabon Modern Style

The Mabon season begins somewhere around the 21st-22nd of September and cont... Read more

Libra Mythology

Libra Mythology

It's truly impossible to talk about Libra mythology without also referencing... Read more

Mabon Magic: Ideas For Fall Decoration And R…

Mabon Magic: Ideas For Fall Decoration And Ritual

Welcome (almost!) to Fall! We’re turning the Great Wheel once again, toward ... Read more

Libra’s Featured Stone - Kyanite

Libra’s Featured Stone - Kyanite

Kyanite Birthstone: Libra Planet: Venus Element: Air Chakra: Throat Read more

Mullein

Mullein

Helps you feel courageous and adventurous. Gender: Feminine Planet: Saturn Ele... Read more

Libra

Libra

Sept 23 - Oct 22 Spirit: To operate judiciously Ego: Strategist, peace see... Read more

Ducks Fly Moon

Ducks Fly Moon

Raven - Bloodstone Jasper - Mullein - Brown September 23 to October 23 The D... Read more

12 White Witch Spells For Autumn

12 White Witch Spells For Autumn

Add these 12 essential spells to your arsenal of magic, thanks to Tu... Read more

Lepidolite

Lepidolite

The Mental Balancer Stone Lepidolite contains lithium and is helpful for st... Read more

Birth Totem - Raven or Crow

Birth Totem - Raven or Crow

Birth dates: September 22 - October 22 Birth Totem is: Raven/Crow Clan ... Read more

Ametrine

Ametrine

The Stone for Clearing and Change Ametrine is one of the rarest and most va... Read more

© 2008-2020 CrystalWind.ca. Site Creation by CreativeInceptions.com.
X

Right Click

No right click