2021-10-28-Emotions (4 of 5) Resroration of Emotional Health
3:10PM Oct 28, 2021
So continuing on the theme of emotions, I think our Singlish speaking people might have a lot of focus on emotions, some people more than others, some people, that's where their life primarily is focused. The reference point for the life less than what they're thinking about is what they're feeling. And, and some people have manifestos that they have composed, maybe in their head, about celebrating emotions, the importance of them, really kind of really get into them in a big way. Some people are afraid of their emotions, or they feel like they have to keep them very private, and are very, you know, reserved about showing anything or even knowing it through themselves. They know how to hold their emotions at bay. So we can talk about it that way as if emotions are some thing. I find it fascinating that if you go back, I've gone back and try to search in the language of the Buddha, for a word that's equivalent to the English word emotions. And it's hard to find, maybe you couldn't kind of squeeze something out and say it's similar to what we call an English word emotion. But the fact that there is no word or it's hard to find a word really fits, points out that maybe the English word emotion is just a convention, it's a label, it's a kind of a way of categorizing a certain realm of human experience. And that we in kind of in our local English cultures, have a you know, tip if you take the pie of human experience, and that pie can be sliced into many different kinds of slices, many sizes, and different choices about where their lines of the pies pieces are made. So we take the whole human experience, and as a whole, and it can be divided and looked at in different ways. And maybe different cultures have different slices they take out. And for some reason, here in the English speaking world, we have this slice called emotions. But it's not something that's inherently like a thing or set thing. It's kind of vague boundaries, what actually is an emotion. But I think one of the things to be looking at when we do this practice is not to have a clear opinion, or, you know, or a policy around emotions, but rather to always look more closely. To see emotions is just kind of like a pointer. This gets us into the territory of something. And then we need to kind of study it more carefully, be more present, explore it more deeply. And as we explore it, one of the things to notice is what are the emotions that come along with stress, come along with some kind of attention, tightness, contraction, something that feels unpleasant, when emotions come along with a whole realm of what can be called dukkha and Buddhism, stress tension, unpleasantness, pain, suffering, and, and which of them come without. And when in your life, is there an emotion that is kind of stress free, a state of mind and emotion, a mood, a feeling that comes without any stress, any tension, any tightness, any unpleasant is any dukkha or suffering? And which are the ones that are more painful, which are the ones that are more pleasant and enjoyable? And the ones that are stressful, and sometimes in Buddhism are called afflictive? Because of the pain that they cause, it doesn't isn't necessarily a value judgment that they're wrong or bad. It just means that that's what they come with. And if when they're afflictive, when there are, are, it come with stress? The interesting question is, does a stress need to be there?
Is the stress in addition to the emotion or to what's happening, or the state is even the emotion itself that we're having, in addition to something that's happening, that covers it over or, or or overrides in such a way that we're not really in touch with the deeper wellsprings of what's happening in our life, the wellsprings of wisdom, receptivity, registering, seeing what's happening and Probably what you'll find is that there's a lot of extra doing, when we are involved in these reactive emotions, afflictive emotions, these ones that are kind of uncomfortable or stressful. And if we can see it as a doing as an activity, then we can put a question mark at the end of it and say, Does this doing this activity need to happen. And sometimes even pleasant emotions, enjoyable ones are ones that are celebrated. They're not stress free, because of attachments or clinging or agendas or wants or desires or fears that come along with a pleasant one as well. So this idea of becoming sensitive to the stress, sensitive to the unpleasantness that comes along has great value, because then we can begin addressing it, we can begin or are undressing it maybe is a better word, we can begin undressing the extra layers of activity that we put on top of situations, it takes a fair amount of trust, to not do takes a fair amount of trust to settle back and allow ourselves to feel and sense and step away from the doing the activity that straining that directing, of attention of the mind, feelings that goes on. But the gift of that is that this psychophysical being that we are moves towards health, when it's not stressed out, it moves towards a deeper sensitivity, a deeper wisdom, about our life, when when that wisdom is not overwritten or eclipsed by overactive mind, overstressed mind, over agitated mind. And I've certainly had an overstressed over activated, over agitated mind. And at least in me, I could see that it fools me. And it pulls me this way, that it pulls me to thinking what I'm thinking about is really important, what I'm concerned with is really important. And I have, and it's really, you know, I have to be involved in it, I have to be thinking about I have to be chasing after it or fixing do something. And it's a kind of a self fulfilling idea. Because as I feel stressed, the I feel uncomfortable, and then there's a reaction, I have to fix this discomfort. So I have to, I have to think more get more involved in all this. And something has to happen here is cut that's part of sometimes the the call of stress will say something needs to happen here. And so there's a pool into being more stressed. And then if I go and relax and settle down meditate, that that I find that actually I was tricked into thinking all this stuff out, that the stress was was so had a huge influence impact on how I see the world how I see myself the situation that was not wise and that in fact, it might have been a little bit deluded. And so to be able to undo, to not address something but to undress something in the mind to quiet down, settle down, become more peaceful. Practice kind of an undoing meditation as an undoing, as a as a rather than a doing, rather than addressing the issues of a life of our life. It's a kind of an undressing the issues of our life.
And so that and then something begins to flow or move or arise. That restores us to emotional health. That is a restoration of a deeper sensitivity, a deeper understanding a deeper wisdom that can only be there, if we're settled and peaceful. Only be there or say differently. So we don't over emphasize the importance of being peaceful. Because that can be dangerous too, if you hold on to that as being the way to be. So much of this ancient Buddhist Wisdom has not so much about being something even like being peaceful, but has to do with of trusting, not doing not doing greed not doing attachment, not doing hate not doing delusion. Not doing stress, not doing not pumping up, anxiety, not doing our emotions, not leaning into them and feeding them and fueling them with the stories that we do. There's this deep undoing, and, and then there starts being room for the blood to flow more freely in their body. It's not contracted by tension in the muscles, there's more ease for the neurons perhaps, to you know, flow more smoothly and, and without being I don't know what happens with them. But everything flow is more. The feeling of flow is a very common experience, as they settle in deep and well. And so as we relax the talked about him Monday, as we learn to recognize more deeply as we learn to respect these emotions that we have, then at some point, we can begin to allow in a deep way, trust in a deep way, so that we don't have to do so much becomes an undoing, a non doing and in non doing not inconsequential. It allows the wellsprings some of the best qualities we have to come forward and you know, it's not your best qualities. And if it comes with stress, it comes with feelings of unpleasantness, tension contraction. It comes with forcefulness and assertiveness. The most beautiful qualities are not assertive, but they are powerful. And they're freeing. So restoration of a healthy emotional life. It's one of the great things to do. So thank you very much and we have one more talk on emotions tomorrow.