Welcome to week 3 of the 28 day challenge, where we particularly pay attention to emotional states. Right now I’m in Boulder, Colorado on my book tour. I actually began teaching meditation in Boulder in 1974, during the first summer Naropa Institute opened. It’s Valentine’s day right now, the anniversary of the Insight Meditation Society – we moved in Valentine’s day 1976. The passage of time brings up so many emotions – gratitude, awe, disbelief (where has the time gone!!), poignancy(I’m somehow not 23 anymore), uneasiness (looking back at a 35 year span necessarily brings up the sense of one’s mortality.) – so very many feelings. Anniversaries and returns are good for that! Even Valentine’s day alone might be good for that!
I know it’s challenging but very liberating to develop a different relationship to our emotions. So often we dislike what has come up, struggling against the emotion, feeling ashamed, frightened, angry about what we are feeling. Or we get submerged in the emotion, being overwhelmed by it, defined by it. And then defined by the next emotion. In cultivating mindfulness we are developing a new relationship to our emotions, finding the place in the middle between those 2 tendencies. With that new relationship we experience some space, some room to breathe, and we also experience understanding and compassion.
So may this next phase in our adventure together be interesting, empowering, and opening.