Contemplation on an Emotion

Contemplation of an Emotion:

“Contemplation of an Emotion” is going further into investigating, and working directly with an emotion. And knowing that we do have a choice of how we relate to our emotions, and that the emotion is not who we are. It is a transitory experience, that has many strings attached to it, judgments, fears, shame, and resentments, that we can drop, and relate to the emotion directly. 

When contemplating an emotion, sit with the experience only as long as you are able to. 
Do not let it become overwhelming. If it is too much – let it go, return to peaceful abiding meditation. Some emotions we may need to work with a little bit at a time.

Many emotions may re-appear with less intensity and we can work with them as they do.


Sit in shamatha (peaceful abiding) meditation for a few minutes.

Bring to mind a thought or emotion that is troubling you.

If helpful, bring to mind a person or situation that causes your discomfort. 

Let the emotion increase, feel the physical sensation of the emotion in your body.

Now let go of the thought of the person or situation that causes your discomfort, and focus only on what energy, what physical feeling has arisen. 

Notice where the feeling is located in your body. In your head, stomach, chest?

What does it feel like, hard, soft, spikey, cool, warm???

Let what you are feeling be your experience.

Consciously breathe into the emotion, let your breath permeate the hard, solid emotion. The emotion may begin to dissipate as the breath flows into and through the feeling.
Your breath expands and opens all your awareness.

Remember to continue to let go of any story line, or circumstance, just accept and feel what you are experiencing with an absence of any attachment, withdrawl or engagement; just see and experience it from a place of open, clear awareness.

Feel a strong sense of compassion for the feeling you are working with.
Love and accept all of who you are!
Place your emotion in the cradle of loving kindness. Know you that you love and care for all aspects of who you are. Respect and care for yourself.
As you place the emotion in a larger, peaceful, calm awareness let the emotion join with all of your awareness, so it is not the sole focus.

Let the emotion dissolve into the vastness that is your awareness.

Rest in a full acceptance, completely open to your experience of acceptance and spacious awareness.

Now sit in peaceful abiding meditation for a few minutes. 

As you end your meditation recall a feeling of contentment, stabilize this feeling, let it remain with you.

During the day you may be aware when something is dominating, distracting your awareness. You can take a few moments, feel the emotion, breathe deeply into the emotion a few times, relax, expand and open your mind, let the emotion sit in a greater awareness, permeated and expanded by the breath.

If you put a spoonful of salt in a teacup it will be very bitter. If you put a spoonful of salt in a clear lake, the salt is there but it is not overpowering the experience.

Sometimes we may not “feel” like meditating because we are distracted by our emotions or the busy-ness of life. This is an opportunity to recognize our distraction, and with a little dicipline, to sit with the distraction, accepting it, and placing it in a greater awareness of our full presence,  instead of permitting it to dominate our awareness.