Greetings!,

Here’s some wisdom from Jason Siff of the Skillful Meditation Project
It’s good stuff. – rB

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Jason Siff

my mediation teacher

We hardly ever feel one way about something. “Conflicting emotions” aptly describes this situation – so rarely do our emotions cooperate and bring harmony and peace.

Perhaps that is why most meditation techniques advocate creating some kind of distance from any emotional conflict. Some may even teach that from the perspective from Ultimate Reality, emotional conflict doesn’t exist, it is just an illusion. Others may teach that conflicting emotions are just fabrications, imaginations, unwholesome states of mind. A minority of meditation teachers may grant emotional conflict some space while still teaching that the point of meditation is to get beyond emotions that cause conflict.

In all of this discussion, I haven’t really said what I mean by conflicting emotions. If one is honest about one’s emotions, none of them seem to arise in a pure form. Some people just can’t be annoyed without being impatient, without wanting something different to happen, without some guilt or shame for feeling that way, and some neurotic need to change their mood from annoyance to something more presentable. Their trouble with being annoyed may not be the feeling of annoyance, but the interaction of impatience, desire, guilt, self-consciousness, and other less pronounced emotions that might find their way into this particular emotional cocktail.

When such emotional cocktails present themselves in meditation, you can choose to sit with them. Let them stir, flow through your system, even intoxicate you if they will. You may not feel at peace, nor will your emotions be harmonious, but you will be listening to each emotion tell its story, and that is a kindness to yourself.

Jason Siff

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