2021-10-26-Gil- Emotions (2 of 5) Recognizing Parts of Emotions
2:58PM Oct 26, 2021
So this is the second talk, gone mindfulness of emotions. And the focus of today's approach to mindfulness is recognition, to recognize what's happening is really a central feature of mindfulness, of the kind of careful attention that we're providing to the world, to ourselves. So recognition, and maybe some of you had the experience of something being named, like, and then it's things just get relaxed or let go or settled when their names for example, someone might notice you're running around kind of frantic to doing something. And someone just mentioned to you, oh, you're tense? And you say, Oh, yes, oh, yes, I am tense. And then only then do you stop and relax and shake it off a little bit. Or you're in a difficult social situation with number of people. And, and everyone's kind of, in the full swing of the social storm. And, and then someone says, I, you know, there's a lot of tension in the room right now. And somehow naming that tension, something makes everyone makes space, everyone stops going, Oh, yes, that's what's going on. And there's chance to take that in and adjust accordingly. Then naming of something the recognizing of something is can be phenomenally useful. And mindfulness practice builds on the power of recognition of that's what's happening. Even some so simple as recognizing the inhale and the exhale, or recognizing the mind is drifting off into thought, oh, thinking, and there's something happened just to oh, that's what's happening. I'm thinking, I'm no longer with my breath. Oh, now I am with my breath. This is good. So the recognition of our experience. So in terms of emotions, it's helpful to think of emotions as not single unitary things, but rather as composites as made up of different elements. Because if we just have a general overview of you know, how we're feeling what the emotion is, it's hard to see where it is that we attention, the recognition is most useful to be had to be placed. Or it's hard to see if there's attachment or clinging or resistance, some complication and how we're relating to it, the emotion, it's hard to see if we just see the general state. But if we notice some of the detailed aspects of the emotion, then we say, oh, that's the part I'm attached to it, that's where they the resistance might be. And so what are some of the different compa comm components of emotions, one of the things is that I find, particularly useful to notice is the physical aspect of it, that emotions, pretty much always are expressed or felt somewhere energetically, emotionally, sensation wise, in the body someplace. Some some of that sensations are an agitated ones, some of them are peaceful settle depends on the nature of the emotion. And if you don't feel it in your body, someday you will. As the mindfulness gets more and more settled, and you become more more sensitive and embodied, then you start noticing, oh, look, there it is. The there's tension in my hands whenever I get anxious, or that's where the tension is in my hands, my fingers are cyber so slightly pulled in. You know, it could be all kinds of places in the body. So physical a manifestation is one. The second one is there might be a story connected to it. And the story might be what's fueling it. We're telling ourselves or reviewing what happened in the past. And as we keep repeating it, we're triggering and fueling the emotion. So if it's history in the past, that your your anger ago was something that happened.
You might be sitting peacefully and very peacefully and meditating or something. And then you remember this anger evoking experience long time ago, and you can feel now you get angry. And, and you weren't angry a few moments ago and now there is anger, and anger arose with the story. There's something about the story that triggers the anger. So the story is part of it. And even in the moment when it's not a story, but a living experience of the moment, the mind is little bit making stories about it is interpreting in ways often, for us to have the emotions we have. So the interpretation they assigning of meaning, and the story that goes along with it is, is goes a long way is it part of the emotion, and part of the value of feeling the physicality of the emotion is the body is not a story. And, and so it's a way of stepping out of the story, which is fueling the emotion keeps it going into a place where the emotion can be processed in the body can't be processed so well, by just repeating the story. Sometimes emotions have motivation as part of it something that we want, we want something to be different, we want something to be to have more of something, we want to have something we want to push something away. There's approach motivations, and there's pushing away emotions or pulling away pulling away. So is it is it a, what's the motivation, what's the relationship that we have, that that's being expressed to this emotion. So again, if it's angry, it's something like we want to push something away, or we want to, you know, assert something and make our point to some someone. So there's a motivation as part of it, if there is something seemingly quite beautiful, it could be love. And with the love maybe has a desire, it's a longing of wishing, and that's the motivation, that's part of it. And then there's the something filled in more a morphus, maybe the emotion itself, which is a little bit the overall feeling tone of the emotion. And that has different details as well. Some of it just might be a pleasant or unpleasant. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant. And sometimes the hook to how we get attached or involved or resisting or entangled with the emotion, sometimes there's nothing more or less than that we're reacting to it being a pleasant or unpleasant, comfortable or uncomfortable. And then the other thing, you know, part of the kind of the elements of emotion, that to be interested in to look at is what is the relationship? Are you to the emotion? What relationship are you having? And one of them is, are you defining yourself through the emotion, some were evaluating yourself. So if you're angry, are you now consider yourself kind of a bad person, because you're angry, you shouldn't be angry, or, and you should be different, you should be loving. And all these reference back to how I should be and how I shouldn't be. Or we justify why we're feeling some way. Because we want to be justified, we want to be someone who's right, or doing the right thing, or no, we're doing the right thing. So all this me and myself concern in relationship to it. And, you know, if someone is, if you're walking down the street and crosses cross the street and another sidewalk, you see someone who's clearly angry, maybe they're talking into their phone. And they're angry. You know, you might look at it and wonder what it's about or find it interesting. And in little bit, that person's angry and talking loudly. And but you don't. It's across the street and person doesn't see you and it has no bearing on you. And you say, oh, there's that's interesting, a person's angry. Can you do the same thing with yourself? Can you allow there to be anger, without relating it to yourself almost as if it's someone else's, of course, it's yours. But we add this extra component part. So all these things come together, the physicality of it, the energy, the sensations of it, the stories and the thoughts, the judgments, the interpretations that we have around it, the ideas we have around
ideas of what should and shouldn't be our values. There's also the motivation that's connected to it what we want to see happen. And there's the way that we define ourselves by a dog, get hooked by it or want more of it, there are preferences and there's also the pleasant and unpleasant aspects of it. So these are some of the component parts that all get rolled up together. into one big ball of the emotion. And so if you say, you know that you're feeling grief, that it could be a very accurate statement to make, but then attention to detail, what are the different component parts to it. And you go through the list of everything. And you find out that partly why it's so difficult is the discomfort that comes. And the discomfort seems to be, you seem to interpret as that something is wrong, if I'm an uncomfortable, it's not okay to be uncomfortable. And there, that's where the complication is. So the grief is not just kind of simple, clean grief. But now it's complicated with this judgment, it should be different, that should be uncomfortable. Or perhaps, the grief is genuine in many ways. But there's a story connected to it. And the story might be, now I'll never, you fill in the blank. Now, I'll never XYZ. And, and maybe it's accurate enough, sometimes that when something it'll never happen again, that's why we grieve. But but when we recognize that that's what I'm grieving, I'm grieving. Futures that'll never come. And so we know and then what, that's what it is. So that's kind of a fascinating kind of perspective on grief, that's grieving future futures that will never come. Or could be that we've telling ourselves a lot of stories. And it's the repetitive stories, rumination that is somehow driving the emotion that we have, and keeping it going and keeping us entangled in it. So maybe what I'm saying this today is not so you know, as articulate as I wish I could be. It's such an important topic and something to respect a lot for each of us, our relationship to our emotional life. But I hope that principle that I'm pointing out is useful. That the principle is emotions are not unitary events. They're made up of different elements. They're composites that there's components to them. And as we settle into our mindfulness, it's helpful to look around and see what are these different elements? How is it in the body? How is it in the feeling tones, pleasant and pleasant? What's this quality in the mood of the mind? As I have this emotion is a contracted? Or is it more spacious? Are there hindrances in relationship to it? Is there identification in relationship to it? What's the motivation connected to it? And as you kind of began to kind of looking around, then you might ask yourself, is there one of those places that I'm caught, where I'm entangled, and if it is, maybe it doesn't, not denying the emotion or getting rid of it. But it might make it a lot easier to be with an emotion. If that one place where we're at caught up in entangled is no longer entangled, then there can be a cleaner relationship and there can be a clean emotion, clean, anger, clean, grief, clean, clean, joy, clean, even desire in a certain way. So you might look to that over the next. Before we meet again, tomorrow, you might spend some time and maybe when even if it's paper and pencil, trying to map out or understand the different component parts of your emotions, when all the different streams that come into play, that build to this singular thing that's an emotion that you have. And you might even do it with a friend. It might be interesting to brainstorm together what are all the different pieces and elements of your emotional life that contribute to the whole? And then to see where where do you get tripped up the most? Which of those components is the place we most often get caught? Recognition, recognizing our emotions carefully, attention to detail. Thank you very much.