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Emotional Ease Meditation

March 18, 2007

My most recent podcast episode is a guided meditation for “emotional ease”. Those words may conjure up a vision of euphoria or floating in a comfortable cloud, but that’s not what it means. Although you’ll hopefully feel more relaxed and at ease after the meditation, it will be a result of being able to actually stay present to your emotions rather than resisting them or becoming mentally involved with them. Emotional ease is about being present to what is happening without struggling with it, and that includes feeling all emotions including those you may not want to feel, such as sadness, grief and anger.

Ease in living is not about life being easy. Life isn’t easy! It’s about the ability to flow with what happens, the “good” and “bad” events and the “pleasant” and “unpleasant” reactions to those events. While some guided meditations give us some respite from life’s storms and a chance to relax by encouraging visualizations of beautiful, relaxing places, my approach is to encourage surrender to whatever is happening right here, right now. While it can be helpful at times to escape, peace in life ultimately comes from being able to remain right in the heart of the storm (whether it is a storm of events or an emotional storm). I hope this latest meditation will help some of you with that!

Comments

6 Responses to “Emotional Ease Meditation”

  1. Paul on December 10th, 2007 7:17 am

    Just tried this one and realised some important ideas. The idea of separating emotion and thought, though the two always seem to go together for me. The idea that emotions, like thoughts, come and go.

    I find it hard to sometimes live with my emotions. I have emotional states that can last weeks, if not years, that are deeply unpleasant. Admittedly they’re not continuous but are always underlying everything.

    I guess, like most things, patience is the key.

  2. Mary on December 10th, 2007 10:16 am

    Thanks for this interesting comment, Paul. The experience of meditation can sometimes lead to some insights and the possibility of seeing and experiencing things differently.

    Thoughts and emotions do become “entangled”. Both could be seen as a flow of energy. Often the flow of emotional energy becomes blocked or intensified by the thoughts that get associated with the emotions.

    It seems that either reading this post or listening to the meditation caused some insight for you, or shift in how you perceive things. There’s lots here you can investigate. For example, you say that the emotional states are not continuous and yet they are always underlying everything. When you observe your experience, you see that the emotional state is not continuous, and yet there is the impression that they are “always underlying everything”. If you see that emotions are not continuous, where does the impression come from that they are always underlying everything? Are those emotional states truly always underlying everything?

    “The idea that emotions, like thoughts, come and go” (to quote you) could change your experience with all of this quite a bit. You might also try using the meditation more than once to see what happens.

  3. Hillary on November 23rd, 2008 1:32 pm

    I just tried this meditation for the very first time and had this experience that was unlike anything I have felt from any other meditation in the past. I am in the process of overcoming a sort of generalized anxiety and have been using meditation as a means of understanding and thus coming to terms with this overwhelming condition…and the emotion that came up during this meditation was my anxiety and it felt like this stone mask on the side of my face, that was both blinding me and pulling me downward, but because it was only present on one side, it had the effect of unbalancing me as well, which I think would be a sign that it was preventing me from being grounded. Also, it was through this physical manifestation of the emotion and my realization of its origination and connection to my thoughts that allowed me to view it in this entirely different perspective. The anxiety is something that is outside of myself, like a mask, it can be removed…and this realization, that the anxiety was not an inherent part of who I am, provided me with the insight that I can remove it, I can cast it aside and live a life without its attatchment to my body. I feel like it may have been a coping mechanism in the past, and thus I came to rely on the anxiety and developed this sort of interdependent relationship with it, thus mistakingly believing that it was a part of who I am. However, after this meditation I see that I can live a happier, more balanced and insightful life without it and I just wanted to thank you for providing me with that opportunity through your meditation and also through your website…

  4. Mary on November 24th, 2008 4:52 pm

    This sounds like an important step in your journey with anxiety, Hillary. You are describing a big shift in perspective. It’s beautiful how meditation can bring that about. It’s great that you experienced so clearly that the anxiety is not an inherent part of who you are. It is an emotional state that comes and goes. This can be very freeing to see, although you may find that rather than being able to remove it at will, you will be less overwhelmed by it.

    You are welcome. Wishing you the very best…

  5. Helen Sullivan on June 19th, 2009 9:13 pm

    Up till now I have just tried the simple meditations on your podcast and have felt refreshed and relaxed after them. This one was different…..the tears just flowed from about half way through, eased off a little, then came on strongly towards the end. It was an interesting experience not labelling the emotion…although it was sadness. I am going through a depressed/anxious time at the moment, with life issues complicating things. Not sure how often I should do this one?

  6. Mary on June 20th, 2009 8:53 am

    Hi Helen, It’s hard for me to say how often to do the meditation. It’s such an individual matter and there are no exact formulas. I can offer some guidelines though. If the result of the emotional release in the meditation is that you feel better — there is some relief of the depression/anxiety — then you could probably do it once a day. If what happens is that strong emotions get stirred up that you are uncomfortable with during your daily activity, then you would want to wait to listen again until that settled down and you felt more at ease and comfortable. Of course, if you are really struggling with depression and anxiety, you might want to consider counseling or therapy. Working with the right professional can really help. I wish you the best.

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