Jody Hojin Kimmel

‘When we come to a practice such as this, we can sit down with our emotions and feel them without holding on. Being awake on the level of emotion means no longer deriving a solid sense of self from how and what we feel. Usually our sense of self is enmeshed in what we feel. We say to ourselves, “I feel angry. I am angry!” Looking deeply into this, we can see that what we are really saying in that moment is my sense of self is fused with my anger. If we look even more deeply, we see we actually cannot be defined by an emotion that runs through the body. The fusion is an illusion.

Seeing this is awakening through the heart. We discover what we feel, period—and what we feel doesn’t need to be avoided, nor does it define us. The more we shut out the body and our feelings, the more we retreat to thinking, which tends toward disembodying. The intensity of our compulsive thinking is in direct proportion to the extent to which we are not willing to experience our emotional body and therefore disassociate from it.

When we are no longer defining self on the level of emotion, our sense of self is liberated from our conflicted feelings. But we cannot get to this point by bypassing our emotions in the hopes of arriving at some exalted state. We cannot avoid what we feel.’ (from Lion’s Roar)

This was a commentary on yesterday’s quote from Hongzhi.


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