2010.02.25 01:00 - Working with Emotions

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Zen Arado. The comments are by Zen Arado. I was joined by Lawrence Vyceratops and we had a discussion mainly about emotions and suffering.

    I had just been reading a story about a killer whale so rabbitted on about this for a while :)  

     Zen Arado: Hi Lawrence!
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Hi, Zen.
        Zen Arado: how are you?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm well. How are you?
        Zen Arado: not bad
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Good to hear. :)
        Zen Arado: just out of bed so still a bit sleepy
        Zen Arado: I usually do a meditation period in the mornings
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Ah.
        Zen Arado: but don't have time before this meeting
        Zen Arado: I was just reading about a killer whale in Florida
        Lawrence Vyceratops: What about the killer whale?
        Zen Arado: it killed its trainer apparently
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Interesting...
        Zen Arado: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20100225/...o-3fd0ae9.html
        Zen Arado: I think it is a bit cruel cooping a large animal like that in a small space
        Zen Arado: lika a bathtub to it
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yeah.
        Zen Arado: it had killed two people before - strange that they kept on with it?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Humans are hard-headed. ;)
        Zen Arado: and stupid !
        Zen Arado: suppose there were commercial considerations
        Lawrence Vyceratops: What do you mean?
        Zen Arado: no whale, no show
        Zen Arado: no paying public
        Lawrence Vyceratops: What are you getting at/
        Lawrence Vyceratops: ?
        Zen Arado: if they had got rid of the whale they might have had to close down the operation
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I suppose. I don't know much about it.

    I changed the subject to Buddhism and we got into the 'Second Arrow' teaching.   

    Zen Arado: I see you go to the Buddha center
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I have been there a few times.
        Zen Arado: are you interested in Buddhism?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Eh. Perhaps a little.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I am interested in the problems of mankind.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: The problems seem to be a psychological problem. Buddhism seems to address this.
        Zen Arado: yes - psychological as in the mind
        Zen Arado: did you ever read Eckhart Tolle?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Never heard of the name.
        Zen Arado: he wrote a famous book called 'The Power of Now'
        Zen Arado: you reminded me of a bit where he says that problems are illusions
        Zen Arado: there are no problems - just situations to be dealt with
        Zen Arado: he says
        Zen Arado: we make situations into problems with all the things we add on in our minds
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I see.
        Zen Arado: it's like the Buddhist teaching of 'The Second Arrow'
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not familiar with that.
        Zen Arado: roughly - if someone shoots an arrow at us we should just pull it out and get treatment
        Zen Arado: instead it's as if we fire a second arrow into the wound ourselves
        Zen Arado: with all the thoughts about it that create more suffering
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes.
        Zen Arado: you see what I mean?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes, I understand the second arrow.
        Zen Arado: sorrry if I am lecturing you :)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: No, it's fine. I hadn't heard the story about the second arrow.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: It makes sense.
        Zen Arado: yes - we seem to have to tell ourselves a story about everything that is happening to us
        Zen Arado: a kind of running commentary
        Lawrence Vyceratops: It provides meaning to our existence.
        Zen Arado: hmmm.. maybe
        Zen Arado: but do we need a meaning?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Otherwise, what we move around for?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: what would*
        Zen Arado: well....why not just enjoy whatever turns up?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not sure what you mean by that.
        Zen Arado: me neither :)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: haha
        Zen Arado: something about just making the best of everything in life without thinking too much about it
        Zen Arado: without evaluating it so much
        Zen Arado: without deciding whether it is good or bad
        Zen Arado: and feeling guilty
        Zen Arado: or worrying about the future
        Zen Arado: and trying to control it so much
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Well, that might be good for some things, but it can't apply to everything in life.
        Zen Arado: no- we still have to make plans for instance
        Zen Arado: but we can do that quickly

    Lawrence introduces the topic of 'emotions.'  

     Lawrence Vyceratops: Also, we cannot deny our emotions. Without them, we have no direction or meaning.
        Zen Arado: emotions - what are they really?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Well, let's take a look...
        Lawrence Vyceratops: They are feelings in the body, created by chemical reactions.
        Zen Arado: yes
        Lawrence Vyceratops: These chemical reactions are triggered by thought processes.
        Zen Arado: ah yes - they are reactins to our thoughts
        Lawrence Vyceratops: They enable us to understand situations in terms of benefit or detriment to ourselves.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Because of emotion, we can get away from a fire, when we have stepped too close.
        Zen Arado: don't they get the body ready for 'fight or flight' too?
        Zen Arado: yes
        Lawrence Vyceratops: So, we can't really deny our emotions, because it is essential to our being.
        Zen Arado: are there good emotions?
        Zen Arado: is happiness an emotion?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: That is relative, I suppose.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I would say so.
        Zen Arado: moost of them seem to be negative
        Zen Arado: like anger , fear, jealousy
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Well, there's also happiness, joy, and pleasure.
        Zen Arado: yes love too
        Zen Arado: they can cause us suffering too
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes. That seems to be a problem.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Undue suffering.
        Zen Arado: I found a way to work with negative emotions
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes?
        Zen Arado: if someone says something that hurts me for instance
        Zen Arado: I just go to the feeling in my body and concentrate on that feeling
        Zen Arado: the feeling can be in different places for different people
        Zen Arado: with me it is usually in my stomach
        Zen Arado: so...just be with the feeling
        Zen Arado: and it soon dissipates
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes, emotions are very physiological. That's why they "move" us.
        Zen Arado: yes...by going into the body it takes you out of the mind
        Zen Arado: the mind would start to churn out thoughts of revenge etc that would add more hurt feelings and magnify the original feeling
        Zen Arado: but you still need emotions I guess....
        Zen Arado: if you experience undealt with emotions over a long time period they can have a bad effect on our bodies I think
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm sure.
        Zen Arado: ulcers and heart attacks
        Zen Arado: even cancer maybe
        Zen Arado: wish I had known this when I was younger :)

    Relationships as a ground for working with emotions.

    Zen Arado: relationships are the worst place for emotional difficulties I think
        Zen Arado: even when they are going well
        Lawrence Vyceratops: What exactly do you mean?
        Zen Arado: if you are in love with someone it seems to magnify everything
        Zen Arado: no?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Magnify emotions?
        Zen Arado: yes
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Sure.
        Zen Arado: and there can be jealousy
        Lawrence Vyceratops: We have many images of what a relationship means.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: These are generally strong feelings.
        Zen Arado: mostly too romantic and optimistic :)
        Zen Arado: some spiritual teacher said that relationships are the spiritual ptactice for us in the West
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I think that is true of all relationships of every kind.
        Zen Arado: yes ...even with our parents..
        Zen Arado: and children...
        Zen Arado: another teacher said 'If you thing you are enlightened go and live with your parents for a week.....
        Zen Arado: *think
        Lawrence Vyceratops: ;P
        Zen Arado: I better go Lawrence
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Me too.
        Zen Arado: I have a lot to do today
        Zen Arado: nice talking to you :)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'll see you around.
        Zen Arado: sure
        Zen Arado: bye
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Goodbye.

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