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Mindfulness of Emotions and States of Mind

Mindfulness of Difficulties

  • Name what inhibits clarity and wisdom.

  • Do you experience all of them, regularly or irregularly?

  • What circumstances make you vulnerable to hindrances?

  • What would be a useful preparation beforehand?

  • Owing to strong hindrances, do you need the wise counsel? 

  • Whom would you turn to?

  • Do you need to develop restraint?

  • Do you need to use resources wisely?

  • What do you need to let go of?

  • Is practice in certain situations a matter of endurance?

  • What do you need to avoid?

  • What do you need to remove or move on from?

  • What do you need to cultivate?



Six Practical Steps to Address Tendencies


  • Acknowledge how hard it is to change these negative patterns yet not submit to them.

  • Become acutely mindful of the tendency to self-blame and finding fault with others.

  • Find ways to express appreciation for others and ourselves as an antidote to fault finding.

  • Know such patterns emerge from the past as a shadow on the present.

  • Remember that one particular feature of ourselves or others is not the whole.

  • Treat the tendency as empty, false and deceptive.


Meditation on Painful Emotions


  • Allow a painful emotion to arise without trying to control it. Regard it as an uninvited guest, not as oneself, that has arrived to stay for a while.

  • Be aware of the difficult mixture of emotions, perceptions, memories, intentions and projections. See what posture works best – sit, stand, walk, recline, dance.

  • Turn the attention calmly to the physical sensations in the body. Notice especially what part of the body releases the sensations, such as the abdomen, stomach or chest area.

  • Keep softly moving the focus of attention into that area experiencing the different degrees of unpleasant or painful sensations and feelings.

  • Settle into the bare experience of the feelings and sensations coming out of the cells noticing all the changes taking place. Do not look for anything behind the emotions, as this is a resistance to the emotion.

  • Stay calmly focused in the locality even when it feels calm and clear. Remember to return to pain in the cells when they sweep you into the waves of emotions.

  • Any anger about a story belongs to the emotion and images we carry. Anger is reactive. We dump it on others or ourselves. Can we respond wisely and clearly to difficult situations?

  • The dissolution of painful memory, images and issues springing from the cells takes the power out of the waves of emotions and the storyline that accompanies them.

  • Bring calm and focused meditation to the locations in the body regularly to cool out the fire that flares up into a reactive state about something.

  • Remember this is a regular practice.

  • When the fires of painful emotions begin to dissipate, we naturally think differently about that which troubles the mind. The problematic emotion will have dissolved – perhaps totally. Reflect on what you have learnt from the whole experience so that drama never gets reborn in consciousness. Be grateful for working your way through the storm. 


 Be Mindful of Eight States of Mind


1.     Mind in pursuit of things and mind not in pursuit of things (attention, position, money)

2.     Mind caught up in negativities, resentment and hostility and a mind that is not caught up

3.     Mind in confusion and a mind that is not in confusion

4.     Mind that is contracted and suppressed and a mind that is expansive and relaxed

5.     Mind that is distracted and a mind that is undistracted

6.     Mind in meditative concentration (samadhi) and a mind that is not

7.     Mind that is high and a mind that is not

8.     Mind that is free and a mind that is not free


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