The entire course on audio:
If happiness is a state of mind, then we need to address our state of mind. If we are angry, battling against the anger is not productive. If we are unworthy, putting our efforts into destroying our unworthiness also isn’t helpful. When there is darkness, only bringing light eliminates the darkness. Fixing, battling or changing the darkness is unproductive. There are ways to resolve difficult feelings both in the short and long term.
The immediate solution to restore peace of mind
Every thought, every action and every experience creates an energetic impression within us. These impressions contain both memory and a specific energy. When we feel off, triggered or negative, we tend to blame something outside ourselves. But it is the activation or triggering of the dissonant energy contained in an impression within us that is creating the negativity we are feeling. When an existing energy contained within an impression is activated, it creates a feeling that we experience in the mind. It may have been triggered by an outside event, but the negative experience we are feeling, the negative emotion, arises from within us. When we feel angry, shameful, unworthy, distraught or negative, we are experiencing the activation of the energy of an impression within us.
Every time we blame something outside of us for a bad feeling, we are being a victim. We are, in effect, saying that my bad feeling is the result of that other person, that event, that circumstance, and I am its victim. In this response, we surrender our authority, responsibility and power. This adds to the dissonance we are experiencing.
Immediate resolution can occur when we use our greatest power to stop, look, feel and accept. Consciousness is our greatest power. Our attention is focused consciousness, focused awareness. Bringing our attention, the light of awareness, to the difficult feeling and holding the emotion in non-judgmental, neutral consciousness brings the energy of a negative feeling into a neutral state. It is a process of stopping, looking, feeling and allowing.
Stop: In the grip of a negative feeling our sense of Self is overwhelmed and, to some extent, we are dominated by the emotion. Become aware of the negative emotion as close to its initial arising as possible. ‘Stopping’ means we restore our sense of Self and stop the dominance of the emotion by becoming aware that we have been triggered or that a negative feeling is active. The truth is that the negativity is internal and is not arising externally, so we have the power to hold the energy in a way that neutralizes it. Stopping can give us the space and time to respond instead of reacting and escalating.
Look: The natural tendency is to turn away from a negative feeling; to not look at it. Our inclination is to resist or supress the emotion and distract ourselves from feeling it. We hesitate to look because when we bring our attention within, we don’t discover the still, silent ocean. We experience the crashing wave. Feeling what is inside of us can be disconcerting. It’s so much easier to distract ourselves from all the crashing waves of anger, shame, fear and unworthiness. It’s easier to have a drink, take a drug, have sex, binge watch TV shows, immerse ourselves in social media, work, and countless other distractions than it is to look.
Bring insight to the situation. See deeply. A negative emotion is being created by the activation or triggering of the energy from an old impression within us. There is the possibility to resolve this negative energy and move back into alignment. What triggers us is what frees us because a negative feeling is a signpost of what is calling for resolution.
Watch, witness, observe the negative feeling. Look at it, but don’t become it. When we are in the grip of a negative feeling, we become it. Observing and witnessing it creates space and the grip of the negative energy lessens. The bad feeling is pointing to what needs our attention, what is now active, and what wants to be felt, accepted and resolved.
Feel: When we feel a negative feeling, our tendency is to hate it, fight it, fix it, flee from it or suppress it. We do everything but accept it and feel it.
Resolution requires that we turn toward the feeling, feel the emotion and accept it is inside of us, just as it is, without judgment, in neutrality. The feeling is an energy with a specific vibration and that energy within us, which was previously unexpressed and unfelt, is now active and we are being made aware it is there. This is our chance to shift its energy and resolve it.
Awareness disempowers what was hidden and unfelt. When we keep an internal energy supressed, hidden or unfelt, we empower it. When we hold a dissonant energy in neutral, non-judgmental awareness, that awareness has the power to bring the dissonant energy into neutrality. We are not fixing or changing or willing something to be different. We are not saying what happened was good or bad. We are being neutrally aware of the feeling, holding the emotion in awareness. We are bringing the light of awareness to it. We are not intellectually doing anything. We are immersing the negative feeling in awareness, observing it, witnessing it. Awareness has the power to neutralize and realign.
Allow: Allow the feeling to become energy in motion. Let it move through. Allowing eases resistance and releases what was stuck and held in darkness. Accept what we are feeling by accepting ‘what is’. Acceptance and allowing are not judging it as good or bad. We are not saying what happened was right or wrong. We are allowing the energy to be felt, as it is, holding it with acceptance, in neutral, non-judgmental awareness. In allowing, we don’t try to control, analyse, change, fix, or fight the energy. We are simply allowing the negative energy to be as it is, held in awareness, giving the emotion our attention. Held in awareness, without resistance, the negative energy will begin to be neutralized.
To address active, negative feelings, we accept that the feeling is sourced within us. We turn toward the feeling and hold the energy of the negative feeling in neutral, non-judgmental awareness and practice allowing and acceptance. We neutralize our negative feelings through the process of stopping, looking, feeling and allowing.
The long-term solution to experience peace of mind
The impressions within us, created by our thoughts, actions and experiences, contain two aspects; a memory and a specific energy. As we have seen, we can neutralize the energy of an activated negative feeling when it arises through stopping, looking, feeling and allowing. But we live in the energy field created by the sum total of the countless impression that are deposited within us. Most of these are not being triggered or overly activated. All the subtle vibrations from the countless impressions within us combine to create our state of awareness and the internal atmosphere we experience day in and day out. The cumulative energy from all the impressions inside of us create the general way we feel.
There is the possibility of permanent, true happiness inside. Underneath the raging storms and the crashing waves that play out on the surface of our minds lies the still ocean of peace, calmness, and joy. But to gain access to the stillness inside, to actually have the experience that there is bliss inside of us, we need to go there and experience it. We also need to resolve the negative impressions that exist within us before they become triggered or activated. That is why we do spiritual practices, especially meditation.
Meditation allows us to experience peace and bring awareness to what lies within us. That includes the waves of positive and negative feelings, the endless thoughts, the sadness and joy, the hopes and fears, the brilliance and the unworthiness. But it also includes, sometimes just for a moment, the experience of our Self; the ocean of stillness, the pure awareness, the bliss.
These moments of stillness, of pure awareness, have the power to permanently neutralize the overwhelming and negative energy contained in the impressions within us before they become overly activated or triggered. The state of stillness is the experience of our authentic Self; pure consciousness. That experience acts upon the impressions directly and resolves their non-aligned, negative energetic content by bringing the negative energy into neutrality and alignment. The memory remains but the overwhelming or negative energetic content is neutralized.
For many of us with active minds these moments can be milli-seconds of stillness, unrecognizable in the flurry of thoughts in meditation. But they are there and they are immensely powerful. A practice or experience that creates stillness and reveals the true Self is the most powerful way to create long-term peace of mind and inner harmony. Meditation steeps our physical and subtle nervous systems in a deep state of awareness and relaxation that, over time, resolves the non-aligned energy existing in the countless impression contained within us.
This is resolution on a fundamental level. It is not just addressing the effect. It is neutralizing the cause of negative feelings. This allows restlessness, disturbances and irritation to be resolved, replaced by peace of mind. It is peace of mind that opens us to the still ocean of consciousness that is our true, authentic Self.