10.1 Hello, Old Friend

So, in this video, we're going to work with the next obstacle in meditation which is; what to do when you have strong or painful emotions.

And this can happen to almost everyone in meditation at some point. 

You sit down to meditate, and some really strong, painful emotion arises, something like sadness, or anger, or frustration, restlessness.

All sorts of emotions can come up that are really difficult to work with.

So, in this video, I'll be describing a technique that you can use for particularly nasty emotions and feelings.

The basis for this practice is understanding that, that which we push away, gets stronger.

So the more we fight a particular emotion, the stronger they become.

If you're pushing sadness away, it's not going to go away, actually it just gets stronger.

So, it's a lot like an old fairy tale with a monster.

The more you send in the soldiers to fight the monster, the stronger the monster gets. But as soon as you turn to the monster and invite it in for tea, it gets smaller and weaker.

So, in this practice, what we want to do is practice inviting our painful emotions in, actually welcoming them in for tea.

And so, whenever a strong emotion arises, you can actually turn to it and just say, “Oh, hello, my old friend.”

So, for example, if it's sadness, “Ah, sadness, hello, my old friend,” and then invite it in. Just allow it to be there, and bring your attention to how sadness feels in the body.

You can do this for any emotion; frustration, anger, sadness, loneliness, it doesn't matter what the emotion is.

Whenever you notice it, turn to it and say, “Ah, hello, my old friend.”

And then, invite it in, and explore, and investigate how does it actually feel in the body?

And, in this way, instead of fighting our painful emotions, we can start to get acquainted with them, and really cultivate some self-awareness around these difficult emotions.

And what you'll find is that they're much easier to work with when you stop struggling against them, when you just allow them to be there.

So, in the guided meditation today, each time a painful emotion or difficult emotion arises, see if you can notice it, and label it, and then say, “hello” to it as if it were an old friend.

And then explore how it feels in the body.

And if you don't notice anything in the body, just bring your attention back to the feeling of the breath.

So, that's it for today.

When you're ready to do the guided meditation, go ahead and click on the next video.

I'll see you there.


Breathing Into Tension (Mindfulness Worksheet)

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