If suppressing one emotion affects the others, wouldn’t meditating to reduce anxiety also reduce happiness?

Meditation is not about suppression. Just the opposite, it is about being with things as they are.

In our day-to-day lives we get so caught up in pushing ourselves that we start to identify with our thoughts and feelings to the exclusion of peace. Meditation is where we pause and allow ourselves to settle into peace.

At first, you become aware of the thoughts you have about the emotion you are feeling. These thoughts fight unpleasant emotions and they cling to the pleasant ones. This is good. You have just brought aware to a process that is semi-conscious at best.

Over successive meditations, a gap will form in the thoughts. This silence is peace. As you continue to meditate on a daily basis, you will realize that this peace has been with you at all times. It was thought that distracted you from noticing it.

Your relationship to your emotions will change. The gaps in your thoughts become larger and you will feel a spaciousness in which the thoughts and feeling take place. At this point you are resting in peace while observing thoughts and feeling. This peace becomes the container that holds thought and feeling.

You feel and think without getting swept away. At this point, you have true choice whether to act on the thought or on the feeling. This spaciousness can be filled with joy, contentment and any other spiritual qualities.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

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