Because emotions emit a vibrational energy field, they affect and determine the people who are in our lives. Life events become influenced by our repressed and suppressed emotions on the psychic level. Thus anger attracts angry thoughts. The basic rule of the psychic universe is that “like attracts like.” Similarly, “love promotes love,” so that the person who has let go of a lot of inner negativity is surrounded by loving thoughts, loving events, loving people, and loving pets.
The Buddha once told a story about a young man who was a trader and had a beautiful wife and baby son. Sadly, his wife fell ill and died, and the man poured all his love into his little child, who became the sole source of his happiness and joy.
Once while he went away on business, bandits raided his village, burned it to the ground and captured his five-year-old son. When he returned and saw the devastation, he was beside himself with grief. He found the charred corpse of a small child, and in his desperation, he took it for the body of his son. He tore at his hair and beat his chest, and wept uncontrollably. Continue reading
At the heart of Nhat Hanh’s teachings is the idea that “understanding is love’s other name” — that to love another means to fully understand his or her suffering. (“Suffering” sounds rather dramatic, but in Buddhism it refers to any source of profound dissatisfaction — be it physical or psychoemotional or spiritual.) Understanding, after all, is what everybody needs — but even if we grasp this on a theoretical level, we habitually get too caught in the smallness of our fixations to be able to offer such expansive understanding. He illustrates this mismatch of scales with an apt metaphor:
If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.
Much of our suffering comes from wrong perceptions. To remove that hurt, we have to remove our wrong perception. Continue reading
An exciting contribution to the growing trend of applying Buddhist practices to encourage wellness and balance mental health. Reconciliation focuses on mindful awareness of our emotions and offers concrete practices to restore damaged relationships through meditations and exercises to help acknowledge and transform the hurt that many of us may have experienced as children. Reconciliation shows how anger, sadness, and fear can become joy and tranquility by learning to breathe with, explore, meditate, and speak about our strong emotions. Written for a wide audience and accessible to people of all backgrounds and spiritual traditions.