Sunday, 22 March 2015

Handle your Emotions The Buddhist Way

Simply watch yourself. Be aware. Notice how you react with others. Try to bring clarity of attention to all your interactions, and try to perceive which of your buttons is being pushed. Notice the habitual, reflexive, and often unconscious reactions arising. Name them, and let them go.  See if by so doing, you can create a more spacious and open approach to your relationships with others. See if you can become more skillfull, intelligent, and even-handed. Doing this doesn't mean that you will never again get angry or resentful; it does mean that you can channel emotions like anger and resentment more effectively.

1. NOTICE WHAT YOU ARE FEELING
Don't deny or bury what you are feeling. Simply notice each feeling that arises and call it by its name — anger, pride, jealousy, covetousness, lustful desire, irritation, or annoyance for example.

2. RATHER THAN REJECTING IT, EMBRACE IT WITH AWARENESS
Recognize the feeling for what it is - simply a feeling that is arising.  Don't get angry at yourself or the feeling, but don't let it take over and carry you away.

3. USE DISCRIMINATING AWARENESSS TO REFLECT ON WHAT YOU ARE FEELING
Analyse and examine the feeling.  Are you having a knee-jerk reaction?  Is your feeling justified? (Perhaps it is a reasonable response.)

4. BEHAVE IN AN INTENTIONAL AND WISE MANNER
Make a wise decision about how to react to what you are feeling at the moment.  Remember that no matter how strong your feeling is, nothing remains the same. The feeling will change, and another will take its place. With that in mind, take the long view; use spiritual intelligence and an understanding of kamma to make an appropriate choice about how to act.

When we handle our feelings mindfully in this way, we become more emotionally stable, trustworthy, and reliable. Through the power of insight, our responses become more balanced and more in line with what is really happening.

Lama Surya Das, Awakening the Buddhist Heart