By Tyler Greenberg of Meditate Life, meditatelife.org
One of the most common things to focus your meditation on is a physical feeling.
We can meditate on our breath, something we smell, something we hear, or sensations
we feel. However, physical sensation isn’t the only thing you can meditate on. As you
become more comfortable with meditation, you can move on to meditating on emotions.
Meditating on emotions can be difficult as our minds tend to linger on our
feelings. Our mind gravitates towards emotions, good and bad, and stays with them
while we are meditating. We get caught up in our emotions and forget to meditate. We
stay with our happy feelings and ignore the bad, or we become disturbed by the bad
feelings while ignoring the good. When I meditate on a feeling, I tend to do so as a way
to come to terms and accept a bad feeling, such as grief. I find that I can explore this
emotion and come to terms with the grief that I feel. However, how do we explore an
emotion without getting caught up in it?
The way we should meditate on emotions is similar to the way we meditate on
physical sensation, but it can be a lot more difficult. I find it easiest to view the emotion
from a third person. I do not let myself feel attached to the emotion and view it and
myself as a separate entity. When I do so, I find that I do not let myself feel the emotion
too much, but I am able to objectively view and explore it.
As I meditate on the emotion, there are a few different things that I like to
explore. The first thing I keep in mind is to look for the root of the feeling. What is the
event that caused the feeling? Often times I find that it differs from what I might expect
it to be. The second thing I keep in mind is to explore the emotion itself and if it is the
emotion that I think it is. Sometimes I find that anger is really just deep sadness or that
jealousy is really loneliness. That discovery in particular can be difficult to come to
terms with, but I find that it helps me accept the emotion more quickly than if I were to
see it as something else. The last thing I do is try to come to terms with the fact that the
emotion is there. I often find myself in denial of emotions, but I feel a lot better once I
accept the emotion.
Remember that meditating on emotions is hard, but it is something that can be
done. If you view the emotion objectively and keep your goals in mind, meditating on
emotions can become much easier. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your
meditations or use guided meditations to assist you.
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