Sunday, July 28, 2013


Today I am utterly and thoroughly grief-stricken.  Heart broken.  Drenched in a watercolor sadness.  Usually when we feel something strong like this, our tendency is to want to run away or completely indulge.  The problem is we stop feeling and we start thinking, strategizing how to make the feeling go away or creating a story about how and why we feel so badly.  

For years I have been aiming to practice the Buddhist instruction of "don't act out, don't repress".  This is perhaps one of the trickiest parts to being human.  How do we just let ourselves feel completely the what is of the moment, and then like a passing thunderstorm, let it dissolve?

Descartes said "I think, therefore I am".  But he may as well have said "I think, therefore I am suffering".  Our obsession with our thinking minds leads us to create suffering upon suffering.  I could think up a million and one reasons why I feel the way I do.  Give you a laundry list of the sad and frightening things I've experienced. 

But what if I just let it be?  Whatever it is, just let it be exactly how it is without commentary?  What if I accept this gripping pain?  Tune into how it feels in my body, give it permission to move, to wash over me, to help me surrender to the moment.  Moment by moment.  

I don't have many other options.  Drugs and alcohol?  No.  Sex?  No.  Exercise?  No.  Death?  No.  Comfort eating?  No.  Television?  No.  Shopping?  No.  And my stories I've heard so many times before.  Plus I'm exhausted.  So perhaps I have been pummeled into the fortunate position of being completely alone with nowhere to go except inside, with no escape except learning to abide.  It's hard and it hurts.

Descartes was somewhat right, thinking does create the ego-sense of "I am".  Yet it's a fallacy, a misperception, the core illusion of our confusion.  The ego can't exist without the thoughts it generates.  "I am" falls apart in the absence of thinking.  Lost in thought is delusion.  Thought, and its naughty cousin, talking, keep us imprisoned.  We could get by on much less thinking and much less talking.

Drop the thinking.  Find your heart.  FEEL your heart.  Make space for emotion to move.  Let raw, naked emotions arise, crest, and dissolve.  Witness the energy and sensations.  

Let go of the urge to justify, analyze, compare, question, suppress, deny, act out, ruminate, wallow, quantify, stagnate, reject, exaggerate, minimize, modify, perseverate, review, fix, embellish, theorize, and judge.  

Look.  See.  Let it be.  Liberate.

This is how to master emotion.  Feel.  That is the big secret.  Sensation energy happens in the body in the present moment.  Resist making residue.  Love and let go.

Abide like the sky.

May we all find the fortitude to feel, to be human, to be gentle with ourselves, and to open our hearts.  Let this be our practice.  It is simple.  It is not easy.  Think less.  Feel more.

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