Meditation Articles Series
Feel Your Feelings
In some traditional meditation practices there can be an emphasis on detaching from feelings. It has caused a lot of people to believe that that is the way to become liberated from suffering. Detachment from feelings, especially negative feelings leads to greater suffering, and I believe to greater attachment to those feelings. They become the shadow side of the personality that comes out as projections on others, resentments, belittling of others and judging others harshly. Each time we disown something within us it doesn’t go away, but goes deeper within the psyche causing havoc in the life as well as in the lives of others. For example I know someone who locks every door in the home including the bedroom door at night. This person then says he doesn’t want any “scaredy cats” in his life or, “how frightened people are out there in the world”. Who’s really afraid? He is, but projects his fear onto others.
In your meditation practice feelings will arise at times. It is the nature of meditation. Accept and allow them to be there. Observe them as arising, “Ah, so this is the feeling of fear”, for example. Also notice the sensations in your body. Be curious about them. Where, for example, in your body do you feel fear? Breathe in and out of the strong sensations if they begin to overwhelm you. And lastly, honour your feelings, the positive ones and the negative ones. They are all there helping you to become more aware of your response to life. Honour your feelings, and honour yourself as a human being capable of having feelings.