2022-06-13 Wise to Emotions (1 of 5) Intro to Emotions
5:09PM Jun 13, 2022
Good morning everyone and welcome to this Monday morning and nice to be back and and thank you, Meg for teaching last week I appreciate it very much and and so what I thought of doing this week is to make and to have emotions be the theme. And to emotions are an important part of human life, sometimes for ourselves and sometimes for others. And to be aware and wise about the emotions is one of the potentials of this mindfulness practice. Because we can learn to be mindful of emotions and see them in a new ways and deeper ways, fuller ways. And so today, I want to say some introductory words about this. And that is to start off that many of you know that I'm fond of the Latin roots for the word emotion, that in Latin that the E means out, and the motion means motion, and hear and so, the, the that which moves out in my, like this interpretation or this kind of, at the, my logical, playing with the word is that I like to think of even whatever emotions are, they're changing, they're in flux, they're, they're moving and if we leave them alone, they move out, they move out, they settle out, they they don't stay for too long. And so, understanding that conditions that keep the emotions going, that fuel them that trigger them, that perpetuate them is one of the things we can use the mindfulness practice to do. It seems that more literally the word emotion comes not from first from Latin, but from French, where it in Beauvoir I think, which think in French means more to be excited by something to be a certain kind of excitement, agitation bit of theory stirred up by something. And also, you know, it has this, it a little bit interesting history. But even more interesting, I think, is that the, the, we take this word emotion, many of us speaking English take this English word emotion for granted, or as if it's, you know, describe something real or essential or, and important, and certainly it does in certain ways. But I find it fascinating that the English as an English word, the word emotion wasn't quite was not coined until around the early 1800s. So it's only been around for you know, a couple of 100 years in the English language. And there's a book on emotions and history of emotions, where the author says that kind of kind of maybe tongue in cheek little bit, that until 1830, but it wasn't until 1830 that the word emotion started to get currency or it was actively adopted into popular speech. In English, you guys had England and, and so he says the author of this book says that until 1830s, so English speaking people didn't have emotions, what they would refer to as they refer to it, having sentiments or having his calls it accidents of the soul, or passions. They had other words that they used for something that was in the domain in the range of the world of emotions, but they had a kind of a different overlap with different meanings. It doesn't mean exactly the same as what many people here in English think of as emotions. And the
and then I've looked it up in dictionaries for different definition shins have what this word emotion is. And most of the definitions I see don't really tell me much. They don't not, I don't feel like they're very helpful for providing a clear definition. And this is one of the wonderful things about this word emotion in English, is that there's no real agreement for what this word means. Even among psychologists, there's different definitions, different ideas of what it is. And so, not having a clear, precise definition, can also be seen as gives us some freedom around it, that we don't have to have some kind of fixed idea of what emotions are fixed ideas have their role in our lives, fixed ideas have their impact on us personally fixed ideas of where they're going, and what the what's happening, what they mean, and all that. One of the things we can learn to do is to whatever each of us individually refer to as an emotion, and we're allowed, we're allowed to have our own definition. And we're allowed to kind of use the word to apply to what we're experiencing. And as we see fit to use that word. But what week, whatever, whatever we were using that word to refer to the practice of mindfulness can help us to discover freedom in a relationship to what we're experiencing. And so to experience freedom in relationship to emotions. And this is a like to propose for some of us, it's a radical idea. Because it's not an idea that we need to do anything about emotions, we need to get rid of them, if the ones that are not we don't like them, we need to bring on the ones that we want. It isn't changing our emotions, to be free of our emotive free with our emotions, is to change our way of relating to them, to change the way we hold them, or the way we think about them. And this radical idea of discovering, discovering freedom, in relationships to emotions, to not be defined by them, not be pushed around by them, not to assume that emotions have meaning. That the emotions have a purpose, emotions have. A tell us who we are, or who we're not, are all kinds of things. All those things might exist together with emotions, but to be to discover freedom in relationship to them to discover a peacefulness that can hold with whatever emotion we have, or to discover a wakefulness, to be awake to emotions, as opposed to be overwhelmed by them, to be awake to emotions, rather than being pushed by them or defined by them or, or, or to, without, or to have emotions without assigning meaning to them. And and so, this ability, then to give freedom to our emotions, is a tremendous gift to ourselves. And the place where that gift I think is safest to give and the most productive is in meditation, whether it's sitting meditation or walking meditation. And but in a context, where what we're doing is not acting out the emotion that acting because of the emotion not criticizing the emotion not needing to not express the emotion because maybe socially unacceptable in some way, whatever we're feeling.
But in meditation, we're kind of we look peaceful, the body's still quiet. But internally we can allow whatever the energies are, the feelings are the sensations might be the moods, the states of mind that might be associated with all this, and the motivations that are associated with some emotions, that all these can flow through us to be present for us. With permission, we give permission to be there. We're not fighting emotions. We're not feeling a shame because of her having emotions. We're not justifying some emotions. We're not saying indulging in some emotions and, and we are just, there's a ability to be still to be quiet certain parts of us. And let make space create lots of space for whatever the emotional expression is at the time. And to be awake to it, to be at peace with it, to allow it but don't, and we're not going to act on it. So if we're angry with someone, we want to punch them out. We don't in meditation, because we're not going to move. And we just feel the energy that's there. If we have a strong desire for something, we don't act on the desire. We just sit there and let the desire be there. In that space of freedom, just allow it to be there without making a story or meaning or purpose out of it. If there's a wonderful emotional thing to give freely, feels wonderful and delightful. And this is where some people now a protest, we don't indulge in it. We don't lean into it. And they don't know we don't if you later or encourage it. And some people say why not, it's a good thing. It's true, there are times when it's good to lean into and allow ourselves to really feel a lot of good emotions. When we're trying to discover how to be free with emotions, we want to the freedom is something has to be equally granted in all directions, to what the good emotions are and the difficult emotions. And so certainly, we're allowed to feel the good emotions, but we don't indulge in it, we don't lean into it or savor it or actively enjoy it, we just allow the enjoyment to be there. Because we wouldn't be able to do the same with a difficult emotions allow them to be there. Maybe we don't lean into them always with those, but we don't pull a whip where we pull away, or we shut down, or we attack or something. So to learn how to be free with our emotions, is a huge gift from this mindfulness practice. And it begins by recognizing what our emotions are. And, and you're allowed to have it your way in this recognition things, different cultures, different places in the world, different languages have a somewhat different relationship with what we might think of as emotions, and maybe different families, different all kinds of things. So here in this practice is freedom practice, you're allowed to be your way and your associations with it. With a with the idea that a clear mindfulness of your emotional life, clear recognition in which there can be and support you to hold it peacefully, to be aware of it without being pushed around by it. And so what I'd like to suggest that as we start this week, is that you reflect some on your emotional life and two things. One is you you kind of reflect on what are the different emotions that move through you through the day, you might at the end of the day, write down a list of all the emotions you can identify that you've had for that day, from the subtle to the big. And once you have that long list of all the emotions you see their look and see what are there any patterns, certain emotions appear more often or more predominant. And then reflect a little bit about what you've learned about emotions. What you have what your culture, your family, your religion, your society, your language, your languages, if you speak different languages, what have you learned about this emotional life of yours and how you identify it and what you think they are. So that will be the beginning of our reflections for this week. And happy to be back and happy to to to
be sharing this with you. Thank you