Session 3: Emotions and Meditation by Ned Burwell

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Session 3: Emotions and Meditation

In this session we are going to talk about our Emotions. Understanding our emotions and learning how to use them as a tool is an important part of learning how to meditate.

  • Your emotions can draw you out of meditation.
  • Just like to mind, they steal your attention.
  • To go deeper into your meditation practice, you must learn how to change your relationship to what you feel.

Your emotions have no place in your meditation practice; including the good feelings. This may be contradictory to the mind because, some may think that meditation is about feeling good. However, feelings trap you in your senses, where meditation takes you into a deeper place of silence.

What are Emotions?

  • Emotion is the bodies way of giving you information.
  • Much like thoughts they come to and through you. When you hang on to them, you lose sight of the information they hold.
  • Another way that emotions are like thoughts is that often people identify with their emotions as being who they are.
    • For example: If the emotion of sadness suddenly arises in you or stems out of what you are thinking about, it doesn’t mean that you need to be sad.
    • If you go into an emotion and allow the feeling to wash over you, they can consume you and cause you to feel that you are that emotion.
    • There is a tendency to feel what ever comes up in us, you can learn to back up and just watch your feelings. This can be a very powerful tool for you to learn.
    • This takes practice. Start with noticing when your emotions come up. At the point that you notice you have an emotion coming up in you, this is the perfect time to just watch it like it’s a movie.
  • Emotions can tell you what you are holding onto, where you may be trapped in your past or where you are holding a desire for the future.
  • When you remove the importance you place on your emotions they lose the power to control you.

All of what I have just explained is important to add to your meditation time. It’s also important to practice all day long.

What is the importance of having control over your emotions and the benefits of practicing this?

By Having Control Over your Emotions:

  • You can respond more appropriately to what’s happening around you.
  • Help you be able to give to situations when they need your help.
  • Your emotions become a gift not a burden.
  • We can access the layers of emotions.
  • We learn that emotions are information.
  • We become better communicators and have much better relations with our partners, friends and family

Labeling Emotions Changes the Way you Perceive them.

Often, we label emotions as soon as they arise in us. The problem with that is our label may not be 100% accurate. For instance: If you’re a person who is often sad, you may label more of your emotions as being sad. However, when you look at what you are feeling without a label placed on it you may notice that there is something deeper. Maybe your really feeling angry or disappointed, but your automatic response is that you go to sadness and ride out that feeling. The deeper layers may be more honest and insightful for you to look at.

  • Labeling your emotions can keep you stuck in one emotion.
  • It can move you deeper into the emotion you are experiencing.
  • Being in an emotion versus watching them changes your vantage point.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, and it was popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book, Emotional Intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence? EI is defined as the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions and to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others. Your emotions can influence your behaviour and, because it helps you read others as well, It also allows you grow your ability to manage your emotions. 

A free download to Daniel Goleman’s book it’s worth checking out!

Also here is a link to a great read about building resilience

The five different components that make up emotional intelligence – Self Awareness, Managing Emotions, Motivating Self, Empathy, Social Skills.

1.         Self-Awareness

The ability to identify what you are feeling and how you respond to your emotions as they arise. A good sense of self-awareness allows you to see yourself the way others see you.

2.         Managing Emotions

Your ability to manage powerful emotions when they arise. Having control over what you say and do during difficult situations.

3.         Motivating Self

Your ability to keep going and be a self-starter in all emotional situations. Using your emotions to your benefit.

4.         Empathy

Having the ability to accurately read other’s emotions and respond to what is happening around you.

5.         Social Skills

Setting Down your Emotions Will:

  • Deepen your meditation practice.
  • Grow your resilience and allow you to access a much deeper place to rest your focus

In the next episode we are going to talk about different styles of meditation

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