Friday, July 23, 2010

The Lynchpin of Emotional Awareness

Sitting this morning, I was able to clearly see the 3 steps of being with emotions. It goes like this:
  1. Awareness of sense experience
  2. Awareness of emotional reaction to sense experience
  3. Awareness of feeling about emotional reaction

I find step 3 to be the lynchpin of complete emotional awareness, the part in the whole process that can get easily overlooked, and yet holds the greatest transformative power.

This morning, for instance, I 'saw' my annoyance with discomfort in the body from persistent cough. Harder to become aware of, was my dislike of the annoyance. Left untracked for a while, the dislike caused me to evade present moment, going into planning mode and thoughts about the future. As soon as I placed my attention on feeling about annoyance, I was instantly brought back to the now, and could stay there, no problem. The same thing applies to positive emotions, and the natural tendency to cling to what feels good. I found that whenever that happens, inevitably, my mind takes over sooner or later, this time in the form of fantasies about the pleasant emotional experience.

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