Author Topic: How to deal with strong emotions while meditating?  (Read 2391 times)

kanoo

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    • The Relaxation Response, (NSR) Natural stress relief
How to deal with strong emotions while meditating?
« on: May 22, 2013, 01:55:55 PM »
I am having strong emotions whilst meditating the last few days - in the heart and solar plexus area, emotional pain, sadness, anger, shame just general strong negative feelings I am uncertain as to how to deal with these correctly.

What has been happening lately is that I sit and focus on my belly rising and falling at the beginning of the meditation and then gradually a strong negative emotion arises and I try to experience it as much as possible and label the emotion until the sensation fades "Anger" "Shame" "sadness" etc. But the thing is the sensation does not fade and I spend the rest of my meditation time (30 mins +) being with and experiencing fully these negative emotions deeply and fully... is this correct? should I be doing this?

Or Should I - notice the negative emotion, label it briefly and return to the sensations of my abdomen rising and falling with the breath? A monk told me that the feelings in the heart area never subside so it is best to avoid focusing on the heart - but from my own point of view - I thought it would be best to experience the repressed emotions as fully as possible so that they can be integrated and accepted? Even when I do ignore the strong negative emotions and decide to focus on my belly rising and falling... I'm still aware of them, I still feel them.


Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: How to deal with strong emotions while meditating?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 03:02:04 PM »
kanoo,

Maybe you need to talk to someone you trust and know you are loved by about these feelings - and cry (a few times).

Then get back to the cushion and do it all again until the knots that bind you are untied.

In practice terms I would suggest not focusing on strong emotions or repressing them as your base of calm seems unsteady for coping yet - it will come. If they are there, be aware, whilst maintaining the focus on the breath and relaxation.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

redalert

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Re: How to deal with strong emotions while meditating?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 12:24:54 AM »
I am having strong emotions whilst meditating the last few days - in the heart and solar plexus area, emotional pain, sadness, anger, shame just general strong negative feelings I am uncertain as to how to deal with these correctly.
I would say note them and move back to the object of meditation ie; rise and fall of abdomen. If these are overpowering then maybe practice some metta towards them.

What has been happening lately is that I sit and focus on my belly rising and falling at the beginning of the meditation and then gradually a strong negative emotion arises and I try to experience it as much as possible and label the emotion until the sensation fades "Anger" "Shame" "sadness" etc. But the thing is the sensation does not fade and I spend the rest of my meditation time (30 mins +) being with and experiencing fully these negative emotions deeply and fully... is this correct? should I be doing this?
Or Should I - notice the negative emotion, label it briefly and return to the sensations of my abdomen rising and falling with the breath? A monk told me that the feelings in the heart area never subside so it is best to avoid focusing on the heart - but from my own point of view - I thought it would be best to experience the repressed emotions as fully as possible so that they can be integrated and accepted? Even when I do ignore the strong negative emotions and decide to focus on my belly rising and falling... I'm still aware of them, I still feel them.
It could be possible that you need to build stronger samadhi to experience the impermanent nature of these emotions. I would suggest sticking with the rise and fall of the belly if this is your meditation object if your awareness is drawn to an emotion or sensation note it and move back to the rise and fall of the belly.
When you have built up strong samadhi it may be easier to observe the impermanent nature of these strong emotions.

kanoo

  • Member
    • The Relaxation Response, (NSR) Natural stress relief
Re: How to deal with strong emotions while meditating?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 07:22:13 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys, these feelings are not with me every meditation session just recently I'm going through some issues I think I'll follow your advice and note the feeling and return to my abdomen rising and falling (Mahasi method). I think I am actually trying to hard to experience emotions and clear them - through a desire to make progress in my meditation practice.

In a more typical meditation session I begin by focusing on my abdomen - then I find I rarely spend much time focusing on it as my mind is either thinking, I see a vision in my mind, there is some physical sensation in my body, I hear a sound, physical pain, an emotion, a taste in my mouth, I get an itch - all of which I am busy labeling - By the time I go back to focusing on my abdomen - something else happens... this is normal meditation practice right?

I had some issues earlier in my practice where I was trying too hard to focus on my abdomen and trying to ignore everything else. I actually don't know the metta technique, I think I'll try and learn.

 

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