Meditation Basics: Emotions

Meditation Basics: Emotions - Episode 166 of The Slow Home Podcast

Kevin Janks is back with the second mini meditation workshop, and this week we’re focusing on our emotions.

I have always been an emotional person, and while I think a certain level of emotional honesty is a good thing, I used to spend a big percentage of my life with the more explosive of my emotions sitting very close to the surface. I had a temper, I’d let the behaviour of others send me in to a meltdown, and I usually wouldn’t accept responsibility for any of my outbursts. They were someone else’s fault.

What meditation has taught me is that my emotions don’t rule me, and much like we learnt in last week’s mini workshop about thoughts, my emotions aren’t always a reflection of reality.

In today’s episode Kevin talks us through the physical sensations of our emotions – where we feel things like love or anger or anxiety in our bodies – and how to begin to notice the thought commentary that comes along with those feelings, as being distinct from the sensations themselves.

A few years ago I would have rolled my eyes at this idea. I would have scoffed at the thought that I was anything other than a slave to my emotions, and that simply sitting there, observing my emotions was an option that wouldn’t result in me exploding at a later date. Now though, things are very different. 

In today’s mini workshop, Kevin talks us through these ideas:

  • Just like we are not our thoughts, we are also not our emotions
  • Emotions (feelings) are made up of bodily sensations and usually accompanied by thought patterns/stories
  • By distinguishing between the sensations (emotion) and thoughts, and observing ‘us’ as distinct from it all, our lives can change as we begin to take apart their power over us.
  • No longer will we identify with “being an angry/sad/frustrated/etc person
  • Rather, we can simply observe these emotions as they pass through us.
  • In everyday life, begin to observe the emotions that pass through you. Start to identify the inevitable patterns that they follow, and again practice seeing them as transient.

Take a listen to the episode below and I’d love to encourage you to practice this brief guided meditation every day this week before we move on to explore the idea of present moment awareness next Monday.

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