#4852, Sunday - February 24, 2013
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Nonduality Highlights Issue #4852, Sunday, February 24, 2013
When Emotion Overtakes You
Question: Is there a special technique or methods to help when we are overtaken by emotion?
Ram Dass: The question was, are there spiritual techniques when you are overcome by emotion? Well, I'll tell you, as your practice gets more and more powerful, what happens is you see the stuff as it starts before it gets so overloaded and so invested with adrenaline and all of that. You don't let it get so intense. By the time it gets out of control and so immense, then you just wait. You wait. The best thing to do at that point is to sit quietly and to let it pass. Now when an emotional upset starts, it may start out of a thought process, but then it starts to involve all of the body the adrenaline and all kinds of chemical reactions. Then often, one of the ways out of it is to work with the body. For example, running or movement. Taking a walk. Doing things which start to release the energy, the kind of chemical buildup. Because you get that kind of nervous energy when you are emotionally upset. Then there is meditationquieting down and allowing yourself to see how lost you've gotten. I mean on the deeper devotional path, there is the offering of the emotion to God. Saying, "Here, You take it. I offer it to You." There is appreciating your humanity. "Yea, here I am. I'm human. I just lost it again. Ah so!" There's the Ah so Right? "Okay. Once more. Boy, am I hung up." These are all spiritual techniques. See, it's the upleveling. It's the ability to see it without denying it. Not saying, "I'm not really upset." "I am upset. Far out. Here we are again." It's like talking with God and saying "Oh, look at how deliciously human I am." Not to milk it. Not to keep feeding it, but not to push it away. That's the quickest way through. To acknowledge it, allow it, and then use body energy to keep working out the chemical stuff that's built up and the tension in the body that's been built up. And then get on with it and just keep letting go, letting go, letting go. Sometimes music does it. There are a lot of techniques that do it.
And then you see that it's your expectations of your own mind that are creating your hell. "I expected you to be " When you get frustrated because something isn't the way you thought, examine your thinking, not just the thing that frustrates you. And you will see that a lot of your suffering is created by your models about how the Universe ought to be. And your inability to allow it to be. If I meet somebody that is a liar and a cheat, they are like an elm tree. They are the essence of lying and cheating. If I have a model people shouldn't lie and cheat, then I am immediately in opposition to that person. I don't have to play games with them. I may say "In the future, you and I can't play together, because you are a liar and a cheat and I can't play with you" but I at least appreciate and allow them their lyingness and cheatingness. That's their problem, not mine. My problem was my expectations. If you have a model that everybody is good and then somebody isn't, then you end up hating the world and being all upset about the world because it isn't the way you expected it to be. It's like you come here and it's a beautiful day, so you expect the next day is going to be beautiful. Then it rains, and you are disappointed. Isn't it funny that when it rains, you should be disappointed? To take nature and allow nature, when it's in its natural state, to make you miserable. It says something about you. It's like decaying and dying. If you are upset about decaying and dying, you've got a problem. You really do.
- Ram Dass
The Immensity of Solitude
When the mind is free of all of its content, all of its conditioned thinking, it enters into the solitude of silence. That silence can only arise when one sees the limitations of one's thinking. When one sees that his or her thoughts will not bring truth, peace, or freedom, there arises a natural state of silence and inner clarity. And in that silence there is a profound solitude, because one is not seeking a more advantageous relationship with thought or with the accompanying emotions that are derived by thought.
In that solitude all ideas and images are left behind, and we can intuitively orient ourselves toward the unborn and uncreated ground of being. In that ground we find our true being; and in the same manner in which our being is uncreated, it is also undying. Therefore, all that we will ever be or can be is found in our solitude (within ourselves) and is timelessly present in its fullness and completeness, now and eternally.
It is within our deepest solitude, where we take leave of every image and idea of ourselves as well as of God, that we come upon the fullness of our being. And in that fullness of being we recognize the divinity of all things and all beings, no matter how great or small. For divinity is not something earned or given, but lavishly present within all. To have the eyes to see the divinity of all beings is to bring light into this world.
So we are given this one small task: to cease being what we are not, and to be what we eternally are. Such a task would seem to be a gift of Love, but how often is it denied in favor of the blind security of conforming to the dictates of our fear and blame? If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once into the arms of grace, no matter how fierce that embrace might be.
It is Love that leads us beyond all fear and into the solitude of our being. There we find our utter aloneness because we stand free of all the false comforts of illusion and find the capacity to stand where no one else can stand for us. We are alone not because we have isolated ourselves behind an emotional defense or false transcendence, but because we are no longer held captive by either the mind or fear.
To stand alone in true solitude is to stand in the recognition of the absolute completeness and unity of all manner of existence. And from that common ground, where nothing and no one is foreign to you, your love extends across the magnitude of time and embraces the greatest and smallest of things.