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Despite being a meditator, sometimes we tend to get swamped by negative emotions. Why is this so?

Cause of the root

One can start by finding the trail of the negative emotions, the root case. Finding the root cause will give instant relief, as the cause is known and therefore, implementable solutions can be worked out.

However, one also has to go to the deeper reason of why such emotions get a root. Some roots lie in the past experiences- of past life times. The present lifetime offers an opportunity to ‘correct’ them (as they arise and sometimes seemingly for no apparent reason), so that pain ceases now and for the future. The actions of the present will yield fruits in the future, bitter or sweet, depends on the actions of the present.

One can imbibe the learnings that the negative emotions and its subsequent actions have brought forth, see the results and learn from them. For example. if anger blinds you to the extent that you don’t listen to others, then it is time to course correct the force of anger to be able to listen. Inability to listen is a blockage where you may not be ‘hearing’ your children, their accomplishments, requests etc.

You also have to understand the true nature of this reality, this place called earth. You are not here indefinitely. You have to leave but in forgetting this truth, the actions you take causes you pain. Pain accentuates negative influence.

Choices are opportunities

Rising above negativity is a choice. A choice is a conscious decision. Meaning, you know you are making this choice and you know this choice will have certain implications. You are aware of the implications. Despite knowing the implications if you choose to ‘nurture’ a negative emotion, it again, becomes, well, a choice.

Emotions are like waves, with their own force and tide and therefore, we have to be cautious as to what extent we are engaging with them. And how conscious we are of this force, even as we build them. Plus, the impact of this force in our being.

In this earthly realm of dual life force, consider your choices as your opportunity for the course correction.

A trained meditator is aware of the emotional influences. S/he looks at emotions as an observer, as images played out on a screen. A trained meditator can ‘see’ anger playing out, rather than living it, and hence remains untouched by it.

Observe your emotions

Not to say, s/he is totally uninfluenced by it, but the smitten of the anger is enough for the meditator to know what it is and why it is, and what it can lead to and how it can be observed and let gone off. Meditation allows this freedom- to experience a wee bit of an emotion and be able to ‘see’ it’s whole range, the further influences.

In order to practice this level of detachment, one can start by observing their body in the meditative state. See yourself as you are sitting for meditation.

Start practicing seeing/visualising ‘neutral’ objects (so that you don’t get influenced by emotions attached to a familiar object). The neutral objects can be a flower, a leaf, a raindrop, sky, rainbow, or simply sense the vastness of air or watch yourself breathing in and out.

Just observe. Practice observing your actions, movement of your hands, spoken words or watch yourself interacting with another person as a third person.

When you are an observer, you will start ‘seeing’ subtle energies and feel them. You will get guided in your objective of rising above negative emotions and not get pained by them. There are other aspects as to why negative emotions catch hold of a meditator, which will be discussed in forthcoming columns.