Reacting to feelings

Reacting to feelings

How are you today? When we greet each other, we often ask, “how are you?” and then share how we are feeling today. For a moment, please tune into the quality of your mind: how are you feeling right now? Let your feelings be just as they are right now—mindfully aware of how they come, go, and change. See what mindfulness may bring to the experience of feelings? It is OK to relax into whatever you are experiencing now.

I wrote in Wisdom Wide and Deep: “The untrained mind reacts to feelings by grasping for more pleasant feelings, pushing away unpleasant encounters, and ignoring neutral events. These reactions quickly develop into patterns of attachment and identification  (Shaila Catherine. Wisdom Wide and Deep, page 297).”

When we instead choose to open and receive the heart and mind just as it is, we might connect with how we really are today—sometimes we’ll be equanimous or happy; sometimes guarded and unsure; sometimes reactive, angry, fearful; and sometimes raw or tender. We don’t need to turn away from feelings to find equanimity. On the contrary, equanimity arises by opening to how we are right now when we are willing to experience feeling without being swept into old patterns of attachment.


2012-01-29T17:11:25+00:00January 29th, 2012|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Mindfulness Practice|

One Comment

  1. 12wanderer January 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    The solution seems to always avoid turning away and experience the emotion or feeling in this moment. My chronic pain from a car accident became bearable then more compressed by exercising, bringing it into consciousness. It may appear counterintuitive that by surrendering to a thought or emotion brings freedom but with pain it helps.

    The sentence about equanimity arises by opening to how we are right now, resonates a soothing secure feeling inside me. You have an eloquent and simple way of explaining emotions and feelings.

Comments are closed.