Day 19- Tackling Common Meditation Challenges- Emotions

Just when we sit down with the intention of getting ourselves relaxed or meditating to get in touch with a feeling of peace, there it is-  Some emotion wells up within you that went unnoticed till this moment. Sometimes the awareness unfolds slowly, gently, while at other times we may find ourselves quickly flooded with emotions as if some imaginary dam breaks open. When this happens it’s natural to respond by pulling back. Consistent with the way we typically relate to events in our lives, our initial untrained reaction is likely to involve some aspect of pushing away discomfort and chasing or clinging to positive emotions. It’s hard to stay with experiences that are unpleasant, and we may wonder why even subject ourselves to unnecessary pain. However, if we view the experience akin to seeing a photograph of ourselves it may help. If you’ve ever taken a photo of yourself that you don’t like and immediately want to delete you have had a glimpse into the experience. Barring some malfunction, the photo didn’t make you look a certain way despite it feeling that way. The photo may have captured a less pleasing angle or emphasized one feature over another even if due to poor lighting we usually accept that the camera captured something accurate despite not being the true essence of what we envisioned. In the same way, if we can learn to sit with the emotions. Even staying in the fire of the strong ones we will build our capacity to process them effectively. In some sense, we will then be moving closer to this idea of peace, and even peace within chaos or uncertainty.

Sitting with emotions in this way can help us reveal the thoughts that are connected to them. Even if you have practiced meditation on thoughts it can be useful to return to scanning our thoughts periodically. Who is with me in this challenge? Let’s remember- It is a practice, not a perfect! I welcome you to try this 5-minute meditation on thoughts http://mymindfulwayoflife.com/blog4/client-5-minute-meditations/

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