Intimacy with our own experience shows us two important ways of freeing up the wisdom-energy in emotions:
Taking emotions seriously and taking emotions lightly.
Taking emotions seriously
When we see how quickly and easily our whole world seems to change with our moods, we know for ourselves the importance of seeing mind-states clearly. Just being hungry without realizing it, and then irritable without realizing it, we may start a fight that could end a friendship. Similarly, positive emotions triggered by praise or seeming success can distort our perceptions. We may accept--eat, buy, marry, inject—something or someone that pulls us into greater negativity in the long run. Even when we think we are making a rational decision, the emotional brain center has already told the thinking mind what is important. Acting, thinking, and living a life driven by unseen emotions is slavery to our past.
~ Through our own experience, we can see emotions directing the show of our lives. The key to freedom is in the very fact that we can observe the mechanics of emotion, and how mind-states interplay with thoughts, body and other sense-perceptions. Something in us is already “behind the scenes” with freshness, fluidity, and receptivity. Can we let ourselves “drop down” into the receptive “place” that is already aware, that knows we have been scorched by rage or bound by fear?
~There is another way that we can “take emotions seriously” is to feel the value of all the energy caught up in them. We can play with taking them apart—noticing the specific impetus for an emotion, the thought that keep it going, the emotion that does not blame anyone else, and then the hidden wish or need behind the emotion.
Taking emotions lightly
Ironically, our very resistance to seeing emotions clearly is what blocks us. We think we should not be shy, sad, lonely, panicked, or enraged. So instead of seeing clearly, we reject the liveliness and potency of our own experience and look away. Emotions only rule us because we think their unbridled power is a secret shame.
Loving eyes are what we need.
Accepting and allowing our own flow of experience can unveil a powerful playfulness in us. Unafraid, we can experiment with emotions and mind-states. For example:
~ Feel the energy and shape of the experience we call “fear” or “judgment” directly. Let that experience float, as if in sea of softness. Allow yourself to gravitate more to the softness than to the vibration or shape of the emotion. Gradually, allow the name of the emotion, and even the word emotion, fade away, so that the living quality of the experience can stream freely, perhaps in an unexpected way.
When loving eyes allow us to see fully, a habit-energy locked in an emotional shape can be liberated.
~ Notice how often your mood changes in one day. Notice how differently you interpret similar experiences—the same bell, rice, voice—depending on your emotional state.
~ Emphasize the importance of caring for your internal atmosphere. Disbelieving thoughts and emotions, play with finding other interpretations of your experience. For example, when we hear others laughing and assume they laugh at us, perhaps they are laughing at themselves or a joke or story.
~ Remind yourself of priorities: a long-term friendship as more important than a temporary rage, one’s own creativity as more important than a habitual insecurity or perfectionist procrastination.