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Sunday, April 19, 2009


In this world of desires, people are driven by emotions. But, emotions ought not to control one's mind. In fact emotions are created by the mind itself. Since everything that exists changes, emotions also change, they are impermanent; they shouldn't disturb one's spiritual development.

Emotions create suffering and happiness. According to my understanding, emotions can be divided into three categories: destructive, constructive and neutral emotions, I will mostly talk about destructive emotions. Emotions can be inform of fear, anger, doubt, feelings, love, dissatisfaction, hope, disappointment, happiness, sadness, contentment etcetera.

Emotions that cause suffering are the ones that destroy one's cultivation or make it unstable.

Therefore we have to cultivate enough wisdom to overcome emotions. Emotions are like clients at a bank or thoughts in the mind. Thoughts come automatically and vanish without notifying you. Clients come to the bank to deposit, withdraw or do some other business without making an appointment. Once through, they leave and another client comes. They don't stay at the counter for the whole hour or day, but just for a short time. This analogy refers to our minds.

Clients are like emotions or thoughts that come automatically into the mind. Some thoughts are wholesome and others are unwholesome. We shouldn't grasp onto unwholesome thoughts because they can easily create danger for ourselves and other sentient beings. Never think that what you plant in your mind cannot be removed. If an unskillful thought comes into your mind, eliminate it quickly; instead, develop skillful thoughts that can benefit yourself and all sentient beings.

One way of controlling emotions or thoughts is to take them as if they aren't in existence. Be always alert and fight them. For example, anger. Every human kind is capable of getting angry.

Anger is the murderer of anything that is good inside us. One has to work through it because it doesn't go away just like that. It comes about due to unwholesome thoughts in the mind and oneself creates these thoughts due to ignorance. Anger is one of the conditions that create hatred and instability among sentient beings. With anger there can't be loving-kindness and compassion. Some of the good ways of overcoming anger are: Focus on the mind, eliminate unwholesome thoughts and emotions, in the process, develop skillful thoughts. Secondly, take things that you are angry at or that make you angry as nothing. By nothing I mean as if they don't exist; therefore they shouldn't disturb your mind.

Many people become totally confused when they are confronted with difficult situations or trouble. In the end they sit with suppressed anger, all bottled up, which is dangerous. Some situations or trouble are just the creation of our minds; only few are created by circumstances out of our centre. Situations can easily be overcome. There is nothing that the mind can fail to do. Therefore, we shouldn't be moved by situations. Since everything is impermanent, hence we can easily change a situation.

As Dr K. Sri Dhammananda in How to live without Fear and Worry writes, 'A difficult situation can be handled in two ways: we can either do something to change it, or face it. If we can do something, then why worry and get upset over it - just change it. If there is nothing we can do, again, why worry and get upset over it? Things will not get better with anger and worry. 'Never let your mind habour unwholesome thoughts. Unskillful thoughts cause negative state of mind, which leads to suffering.

Take every emotion or thought as a client that comes and goes, or as if it is something that does not exist. By so doing loving kindness, compassion and peace will be created in your mind.

Never let your mind be controlled by external influence, be alert.