We all have individuals in our life that trigger this feeling in us of resentment. “How dare they!” we think to ourselves. “I would never do that”, we think, “I would never be that selfish”. We can become consumed by people or situations that we feel are unfair. However, we do have a choice in how we perceive things and whether or not we allow negative emotions to overwhelm us.
Teachers come in all different shapes and sizes. If we choose to come from a more traditional Buddhist perspective, we can come to understand that much of our reality is illusion, a dream, and a learning dream where we have the opportunity to transform ourselves in every frustrating or negative interaction or emotion. The Buddhists tell us that there are three core factors that can help us to transform our negative emotions.
First is listening – true listening, not the kind while you are watching TV or multitasking. True listening when we are conscious and giving our full attention. What happens when we truly listen is it is possible to hear things in a different way instead of the way we are used to hearing things. It is possible to tap into our inner wisdom and find answers that we never imagined.
Secondly is contemplation. We are such and action based society that it seems unfathomable to take three or four days to mull something over. We have been trained to expect instant gratification and our attention spans have shrunk to the length of a thirty second commercial. It is in contemplation that we reflect on what we have heard in our listening, on what our inner wisdom has communicated and what it means to us.
Third is meditation. Sogyal Rinpoche, in his classic Buddhist text The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, suggests that we meditate with eyes open. Meditation is not about zoning out but rather zoning in, finding our way to that inner peace instead of escaping the chaos – otherwise transformation is not possible. Meditation is not all about chanting or sitting still even – the truth of meditation is said to come in the few moments after meditation, when there is clarity. Meditation is our mental sieve.
Read more about meditation and good health
This is the process in which we can unravel judgment and negative emotions. It is not easy bit if we are diligent we can change the way we see things so that, as Dr. Wayne Dyer
famously says: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Image: Lydia Pintscher