(The following is a transcript of the video above).
Few of us have ever been taught how to deal with our feelings in a healthy way. In today’s video, I am going to talk about how meditation can be a tool to help you do just that.
Today, I am sitting on the floor to illustrate a point. Of course, you may sit in a chair when you meditate, which I do often.
If you sit in meditation for a long time in this traditional cross-legged position, it hurts. Your legs hurt, your knees hurt and your back hurts. This is perfectly normal.
If you ask a meditation teacher what to do about the pain, they might say: This too shall pass. Meaning that eventually, your pain will go away -- probably when you shift your position or stand up.
Buddha taught that human misery comes for our attachment to either our desires (the things we want) or our aversions (the things we don’t want).
We put this into practice with our meditation. When you are sitting, just feel the your breath coming in and going out of your nose. Your breath is the anchor of your life. When you catch your mind wandering, bring your attention back to your breath. Thoughts and feelings will arise while you are sitting. Just observe them. Do try to hold on to them. Do not try to push them away. Do not judge them. Just observe. They simply exist and so do you.
Pain puts this all to the test. Imagine that you are going to sit in meditation for one hour without moving. This is very challenging. Your eyes are closed, so you have no idea about time.
After a while, something is going to start hurting, probably your knees. Your first reaction is to push away the pain. But when you do that, you tense up and the pain gets worse.
“Oh... it feels like your whole leg is throbbing. Only... fifty more minutes to go....”
This is what is going on in your mind.
Just go back to your breath. Focus your attention on it. Relax. Don’t push away the pain. Feel it. Feel it fully. Breath into it. Where exactly is the pain? Is it really your whole leg? Well, actually, it is just the knee. Is it the whole knee? Actually, it is a small little part, not even the size of a penny.
It still hurts. But now, you are not trying to push it away. You accept it. The pain may get worse or it may get better. If you get your mind into the right state, it won’t matter any more. This is a very quiet and very calm state of being equanimous.
Of course, you have to powerfully focus your attention. Pain is a great tool for doing that. Parts of your mind will rebel against this, and demand that you move your leg. Maybe you will or maybe your won’t. Either is okay.
The purpose here is not to cause you suffering. The purpose is to teach you how to deal with suffering, and how to deal with your thoughts, your feelings and your behavior. Today, in particular we are talking about your feelings.
So, feel your feelings, let them flow and let them go.
During your meditation, other feelings will arise. Maybe memories of a painful experience from childhood. Just do the same thing -- observe, don’t move and don’t be moved.
Feelings and thoughts are energy. They are within your body and your energy field. In a healthy system, energy flows naturally without restraint. But throughout the years of our lives, we have put up barriers to this smooth energy flow. So, let your thoughts and feelings flow. Feel your feelings, no matter how good or bad they feel. Don’t be afraid. They will all pass.
You probably have automatic reactions to specific thoughts or feelings. Just observe. See how a certain thought causes a specific feeling, and vice versa. See, in turn, how this causes a particular kind of behavior.
Our minds are largely structured on conditioned response -- like Pavlov’s Dogs, and so is our behavior. By the simple act of observing, you start to break the cycle of conditioned response.
You can begin to see the connections between thoughts, feelings and behavior. This is awareness. You are now aware of how your mind, emotions and behaviors function. Once you have this awareness, you are taking steps to control your own mind.
This is liberation: freeing yourself from the enslavement of the conditioned thinking you have had since childhood.
When you free yourself from the powerful grip of conditioned thinking and your ego -- you suddenly have access to your deeper you -- your soul. Your soul knows everything. Your mind can mess you up. We need to learn how to control the mind, and place it off to the side.
We can take the lessons learned in meditation -- being in the present moment, observing without reaction and fully feeling your feelings -- and apply this into your daily life.
Live in the present moment. Try to observe your thoughts as they happen. Catch yourself when your mind starts to wander, and bring your attention back to your breathing. Observe what is happening around you in a detached manner -- try not to judge. Catch yourself when you are having a strong emotional reaction to something, or are making a judgemental statement. Notice how it feels in your body.
All of this takes time, patience and practice. The goal here is not to turn you into an emotionless robot. The goal is for you to become aware of what you are thinking, feeling and doing at all times -- and then take steps to make changes, if that is what you want to do.
Here is a simple exercise to help you become aware of your conditioning: put your watch on the other wrist. Notice how many times you have to look from one wrist to the other. Notice your reaction -- does this make you feel frustrated? How does it feel on your body? Are you upset? Why?
Be aware of all of your feelings throughout the day. Take a moment a different times throughout the day and do a “status report.” How do I feel? Where to I feel it? What caused this feeling?
Dealing with our feelings is a complex subject. I have only scratched the surface in this video. Maybe you need some help with this. That is where I be of assistance. I work with people worldwide via Skype to help them find and overcome their problems so that they can move forward and live life more fully. You can contact me at SpiritTransform.com and we can arrange a time for a meeting. The first meeting is free.
Also, if you found this video to be helpful, please share it with others. There should be some social media links nearby on this page.
Remember, if you want to improve your life, try to take small steps everyday. You don’t have to change everything at once. Be nice to yourself, and others.
I am Paul Crouse with Spirit Transform.com Thank you.