The Journey to Seeing Ourselves

 One day a Buddhist monk, looking very upset walked up to his teacher and asked: Teacher, I am not at peace inside, how should I deal with great distress and strong emotions?

His teacher said: Welcome them.

Sometimes when stressful or difficult situations arise, we may feel out of control or highly reactive. In such circumstances we don’t know what to do.  In these situations we work through them by working with them. We start by acknowledging what we are actually feeling at that moment. To acknowledge it means to “greet it” without criticism or judgment.  One of the most important things that alienate us from being calm inside when things are difficult outside, is holding a rigid or repeating set of beliefs about who we are.


Underneath those alienating notions we all have a longing to grow and be whole and happy. This is at the very core of who we are as human beings. When we hold “fixed” views about ourselves, and others, we inhibit the possibilities for growth and happiness, and we are less able to be present to our life as it is now. road.1

Our work then is to begin to question the beliefs we hold about ourselves.

The journey to reclaim our innate happiness starts with awareness and curiosity. With awareness we begin questioning the things we’ve come to automatically think. For example, when we simply practice observing a repeated angry thought or belief we have about a friend, parent or lover, we may start to notice that there is a feeling or emotion that goes along with it.  We many notice that the feeling that goes with a particular thought is a longing to be loved and acknowledged by them. When we notice this, the critical thought about that person quiets down.  We see instead what the real value and meaning of our thought is about because we have “mindfully” looked into it. Our ability to “meet and greet” our thoughts and the emotional wish or longing that goes with them allows us to begin to transform them.



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