Length: 1.5 hrs; Format: Audio/Video; Recording Quality: Excellent.
In this teaching, Rinpoche explains the fundamental methods for working with emotions, which are abandoning, transforming, and recognizing their nature. Highly recommended!
Outlines of the Teaching
Working with Emotions – Synopsis of the Teaching
Whether you are disturbed is about the mind. Its not what is around but how we react.
We think what is happening to me is because of something else but its not like that, its up to us. If we really understand it is more about me then instead of blaming or complaining we would try to change our own way of reacting. From a Buddhist point of view the whole practice is working on our mind, how we react, dealing with emotions and habitual tendencies. Habitual tendencies are very strong and sometimes we think that this is the only way, its not possible to change because its our habit. This is the main source of pain, difficulties, problems and sufferings,not only for ourselves but creating the same problems for others.
There are three main methods of working with the mind and emotions
3) Recognizing one’s nature
1) Abandoning or letting go
For example if I am upset but know it is not good for me or others I can delay my reaction. Even our strongest emotions can change very quickly eg. anger if one sleeps on it, that is why it is possible to let go. Emotions can take us by the nose and we become a slave of them. Repression is not acting out but keeping the emotion, clinging or holding on. When you let go you don’t keep it therefore you don’t repress it. We need to know clearly that how other people do things is up to them, and how I react is up to me.
2) Transforming or changing focus
Instead of focusing on that negative thing, I change my focus to something more positive. I can solve a problem, but at the same time I should also focus my mind on other things that are not a problem/good things. How I feel is where my mind is focused. If I focus on other things I feel more spacious. When we see things worse than ur problems then we realize then we realize how good our life actually is compared to many others. If I am angry I try to focus on moving kindness, either my own or someone elses.I can think of somebody who is the embodiment of compassion. When I feel that I cannot be so upset and hateful.
3) Understanding or recognizing one’s nature
Some masters say our mind is like space or the sky. Anything can happen in it and dissolve within it eg.there can be clouds , storms or sunshine but it doesn’t disturb the space.Our mind is a feeling of knowingness, cognizance or clarity. Because theres nothing there you cannot cut it into pieces or destroy it. Death cannot destroy us because consciousness remains. Theres no need to be afraid because there is nothing to be destroyed.If we try to secure ourselves there is always vulnerability. If we know clearly there is nothing to secure then we are the most secure, we don’t need to run after or run away.Look at emotion as drama and let it dissolve by itself or self liberate. When we have some understanding but also experience of that we can be ok or let be. My mind is awareness and within that anything can happen, and always dissolves within that.
Synopsis by DS
Working with Emotions: Abandoning, Transforming, and Understanding
- Rinpoche begins with a conversation about social media, and disturbances cause by social media, as well as disturbances of other noises
- Disturbances are just the mind [4:30]
- Working on the mind, on our reactions, emotions, and habitual tendencies [14:45]
- Delaying your reaction, abandoning, and letting go – the first approach to working with our habitual tendencies [20:50]
- Repressing our emotions [22:50]
- Our reaction is what’s important, not what people do or don’t do [27:50]
- Transforming emotions [31:25]
- Understanding or recognizing the nature of the mind [40:25]
- Death cannot destroy the mind [46:45]
- The mind is not the body, no need to be afraid, security in having nothing to lose [50:15]
- Email, We Chat, telephone – none of these are disturbing [1:00:28]
- Questions: Compassion as an antidote to strong emotions [1:07]
- Q: What are the aspects of the mind? [1:13:45]
- Q: What is the purpose of anger? Why is it so natural to be angry? [1:14:45]
- Q: How can we not feel sadness when bombarded with the news [1:16:40]
- Q: How to be of benefit to others when you have strong emotions? [1:24:50]
- Q: How to work with both spaciousness and agitation at the same time? [1:30:15]
Outline by SCA
Rinpoche addresses the topic briefly in an answer to a student’s question in the Bodhicharyavatara teachings (transcribed here, starting on page 3).
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche will speak on the Buddhist approach to living in a fast-paced modern era, based on teachings of Padmasambhava (7th cent), the renowned teacher from India who helped bring Buddhism to Tibet (and now to America!).
Please join us!
“Unstained by objective clinging,
Unspoilt by the grasping mind,
Sustaining the naked and empty awareness
Is the wisdom mind of all the buddhas!
Do not investigate phenomena: investigate the mind.
If you investigate the mind, you’ll know the one thing which resolves all.
If you don’t investigate the mind, you can know everything but be forever stuck on one.”