Practicing with Unpleasant Emotions | Thich Nhat Hanh

Our sadness, fear, despair, anger, and so on, all begin as seeds in our store consciousness. When they are watered, they become mental formations. There they gain in energy.

When a painful feeling arises, we can first return to our mindful breathing. We can say to ourselves, “Breathing in, I am aware of the despair in me. Breathing out, I hold my despair with kindness.”

We do not try to hide or run away from our painful feelings. There is no need to blame ourselves or act out against others for feeling in a certain way. We are simply aware of what we are feeling and care for it. Our feelings are our babies.

When we are mindful of our own suffering, and tend to our suffering, we can be mindful of other people’s suffering and tend to them too.

Mindfulness isn’t attacking or hiding. We are looking deeply at the nature of our feelings. Through our gentle awareness, we can transform our feelings.

  1. Recognize our pain
  2. Embrace the pain
  3. Bring Relief
  4. Touch Insight and transformation

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