it’s okay to feel…

If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate.

~Ajahn Chah

it is okay to feel. we are feeling, empathetic beings. when we open our hearts to receive the world & this life, emotions arise.

our neurosis comes from identifying w/ our emotions. “i am angry” “i am happy” “i am sad”, pushing away or denying emotions we don’t like & grasping at ones we do. this can create much suffering for ourselves & others.

BUT we are not our emotions. we are something that feels emotions & can observe emotions. like a vast blue sky which sometimes has white fluffy clouds & other times dark stormy clouds, all which pass. sometimes the sky is quite clear & bright! regardless, the sky is the sky no matter the clouds.

in meditation practice, we are encountering ourselves & our life w/ authenticity as it is in the moment, anchored by our sitting & our breath, we can watch emotions arise, allow the feeling, & allow them to pass. we don’t deny or push away, we don’t criticize & we don’t judge.

it is okay to feel. we can even label the feeling w/ tenderness & kindness, “ah, yes, it is you sadness, it is you anger, it is you bliss.” & then return our attention to what is our life at this moment – our sitting & our breathing.

there seem to be two myths around feeling emotions & recognizing emotions. one is that it is somehow weak to do so, but nothing could be further from the truth. feeling & recognizing emotions is authentic & quite brave. being in touch w/ emotions connects us to others who are also experiencing emotions in this life.

the second myth is that we are our emotions, but we are not our emotions (which change often due to outside circumstances). believing so, closes us off from the freshness & newness of life & creates a false identity of who we are, a role we begin to believe we need to play.

but we don’t have to fall for either myth. we can learn to be w/ our lives in a present & authentic way, while also aware of all that arises & falls away around us & within us, including the emotions we feel. meditation practice can help us learn this.

~j

#WorldMeditationDay #meditation #path #practice #OpenHeart #EngagedBuddhism #emotions #JMWart #JinpaLhaga #art

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