When Energy Runs Wild

Energy and Emotions

There is a big difference between care and affection, say, and anger and greed. The latter close down on a sense of self. The former two open to the other. Many practitioners feel that they should have nothing to do with emotions at all, an attitude often encouraged by teachers who are emphasizing the importance of undistracted attention. Often no distinction is made between an emotion such as anger that clouds and confuses and other emotions, such as love, affection, remorse, or sadness.

In the transformation process described above, it is inevitable that one is going to encounter strong emotions at some point. Energy imbalances can build up if you don’t know how to work with them. With mindfulness and awareness you can experience emotions completely. You aren’t just aware that you’re angry or upset, or in love, or ashamed. You experience that anger, upset, love, or shame completely without falling into confusion or dullness. You experience it as movement, as energy, rather than actually being angry, upset, and so on.

Being Split Into Two
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Understand the importance of completely opening your life to practice. This audio clip is taken from podcast 11b in the Awakening From Belief series.

Please note the audio quality of this recording is poor and, in the exchange with students at the end, it is very difficult to hear what they ask. However, you should be able to get the essence of what is asked from the responses that are given.

If no latitude is allowed to work with the emotions or through the psychological material that underlies them, the effect of a meditation practice can be to split you in two.

How does that split happen? Meditation raises the level of energy in your whole being. The higher level of energy inevitably brings you into contact with reactive emotional patterns. If you now repress the emotions, pushing them out of attention, two things happen. The higher level of energy in your system flows into the reactive pattern, making it stronger. The higher energy also flows into the repressing pattern, making that stronger. Both the reactive patterns of the emotion and the repression are reinforced. You end up splitting in two. One part of you is capable of attention and response. The other part becomes increasingly rigid and inflexible and takes over unpredictably whenever the repressed emotion is triggered by events or situations. Typically, you become more arrogant and self-indulgent, obsessed with power, money, sex, security, or other fixations, and act in ways to control or amass the object of your obsession. Long-term practitioners and teachers who protect areas of their lives from their practice run into this problem with unfortunate and sometimes tragic results.

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