Transcript of Teachings with Bhante Sathi￼ – July 31, 2018
How to deal with emotions while meditating
How to measure your mindfulness practice.
I have a question. Sometimes thoughts and there are emotions attached to it. You know, regular thoughts I can manage, but it is the ones with an emotional attachment that you know, believing that we can be frustrated, angry, mad or sad. How do we get rid of that?
The question is about, sometimes you have emotions during mediation that emotion has effecting our meditation. So, that would be the question. Well, first of all, we have to understand what is the nature of the meditation or the purpose of the meditation. Or, what do we take from the meditation?
Meditation supports, helping you to get with your habits. There are certain habits we follow by knowing we are following these habits There are a lot of habits we follow without knowing. Especially meditation practice will allow for us to notice those unrecognized habits and also will give us strength or energy to not to maintain these, at least during the meditation. Once we are convinced in the meditation that we have these tendencies then you will be able to curtail that outside the meditation. So, that’s one of the cases of your practice. That is how meditation works. Are we to understand what is the nature, or how do we recognize these habits? Or, what are the habits?
When you start to do something or start to experience something, by doing it a few times, it will become a habit. Whatever we will do, we will repeat certain things because we enjoy it. Or, we get something out of it. There are other habits that you maintain because you get companionship, or you get a relationship with that habit. Then you will start to like that relationship or companionship or companionship either with your friends or with the experience. Also, there are other habits that we follow and maintain because that gives us some pleasure it provides our pleasure. Eventually, it can become like a habit or action because it gives us something of it One of the major troubles of the human being We, get attached to our emotions. First, it becomes a habit Then, even though you recognize that emotions as an unhealthy emotion, you think, “I cannot leave this emotion.” That’s the definition of addiction.
We have no trouble we positive emotions. We do not question those positive emotions such as love, or happiness, or any exciting emotions that we can name. Not only that, but we would like to experience those. Therefore, we will look for those positive emotions. But, we have trouble with negative emotions. We do not want to experience anger, or frustration, anxiety or fear. But, you can see there are some there is some taste in those emotions. There is a certain taste in anger. There’s a certain taste in fear. Some people, after they cry they say, “I feel good now!” But, the same person doesn’t want to see other people cry. Or the same person, don’t like to see their kids are crying. But, we all know that this is not a possible action.
But, if you believe you can the mindful person, if you pay attention to these emotions or all those emotions work in a very similar way They are all equal. Anger, frustration, as well as happiness or any of those emotions those work the same way. What happens when emotions are there emotions lead, dominate your mind. In other words, I will say, they hi-jack your mind. They are coloring your mind. You become that color. When anger is there, you become an angry person. When anxiety is there, you become anxious. When fear is there, you become fearful. So, you lose yourself. They become you. But again, you don’t have any trouble happiness or any other of the positive emotions. We like those. We are okay to lose ourselves in those emotions.
But, we don’t want to surrender to your anger You’ll say that after you calm yourself down. But, while you are angry you think you are not angry. It is his fault. Or, it is temporary or it is myself But, there are certain emotions like fear or anxiety that you don’t want. You don’t want to have that experience or have this feeling or emotion. But, we do not know how to take that. During the meditation, we have to recognize that any emotion arises, if any emotion arises, you have to recognize it as a mediator.
Then, as a mediator, by knowing that you have those emotions, you will serve it That’s the particular part. In the meditation practice, if you happen to have an emotion, by knowing you are having that emotion, you observe it. As a result of that, this emotion will disappear. Because your attention will get back to your breath. Your breath will occupy your mind. That way, there’s no space for emotions. The emotion will disappear. And, it will give you confidence. It will give you proof that you are even though those emotions are strong those are impermanent. They will disappear. It doesn’t matter, whatever the emotion that is there. It is impermanent. There is no permanent emotion. That way the meditator gains confidence. Once you find this peaceful mind, next to strong emotion, the meditator gains the confidence by thinking “I can get rid of this emotion through my meditation practice. This is my true nature. My true nature is having a calm mind. Not being this emotional mind.” That is what the meditator will realize.
So, if you go a bit further with meditation, then, as a mediator, then you will recognize how you will go back to this emotions? And, how much these emotions are feeding your mind. Sometimes we get bit by anger. Sometimes we get bit by fear. There are some people who like living in sadness. Maybe they will tell their family they don’t to be sad. But, you can see that the things that they do are leading them to sadness. Their feelings. So, with determination and mindfulness, this person will slowly gift themselves out of those emotions. And again, time to eat or taste different food. It is time to taste different food. Think, mindfulness means looking for healthy food. Healthy, mindful food. Another thing about emotions They come quickly. Emotions can experience It is like a fast food. Fast food is cheap widely available, and very tasty. You can eat healthy food. But it is difficult to find not a lot of taste and most expensive and difficult to access.
That’s why some people go and experience compassion Some people experience joy. Joyfulness mostly comes from generosity. They practice generosity. But, greed or anger, frustration and sadness, and fear. Those are widely available. And, everyone understands that. Those healthy, mind “food” is only recognized by good thinkers. Or, kind-hearted ones with only going after compassion. Not everybody. Just think about when somebody happens to see a suffering animal and how many of us are going to help Many of them “oh yeah” [shrugs] and then just leave. But only a few take an effort and do something. In the same way, we can see how many of us are going after this healthy mind food. Instead of these cheap emotions. [giggling in the background.]
So, as a mediator, we will notice it. And you will have the courage to get rid of these habits. Emotions are habits And, the other important to understand is that once you really get addicted to certain emotions. We feel we become, one of them. You think, “I cannot get it.” “I cannot live with anger or fear. I cannot be free from this emotion.” That is how we become helpless. But, the meditator, will resist this. The meditator will gain the strength to walk away from those emotions. Hope I answered your question.
Does that bring up any other questions in anyone else’s mind? It is good to ask.
Is there any way to judge or measure how our mindfulness practices are going, other than our own sense?
We can judge it individually and of course, we can judge other person’s mindfulness but you can see. You can see how much you have less anger, less or how much you have changed your lifestyle with habits and how much you have increased your compassion and joyfulness with actions, well-being, generosity and if you see your time and wealth how much percentage of wealth and time you are putting towards generosity, compassion, and how much less you are experiencing anger, greed, so that will also be the measurements.
So, simply just look back and just see for the week or the month or your paycheck. What you have done. For yourself and outside of yourself. That’s the way to check your mindfulness. And also, you can see this very difficult it is very difficult to practice compassion in some situations.
And, in some situations, it is very easy. When you are compassionate it is increasing, then you find that those difficult times, those that practice compassion it becomes nothing. You will find “Oh, it is very easy.” Same story with generosity.
I hope I answered your question. Any others?