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Lions Roar : September 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2007 48 The same phenomenon happens around emotional suffer- ing. It too registers in the body. Then the mind contracts and clings, causing the emotional suffering to grow exponentially. But you can use the very same relaxed attention and softening into awareness of your emotions to gain freedom from suffer- ing. For example, the next time you’re feeling hurt and angry because you think your significant other doesn’t hear or appre- ciate you, rather than succumbing to these hindrances of mind, stay with them as body experiences. You may sense tightness in the belly and around the eyes from the hurt and some heat from the anger. Meet these body experiences with mindfulness and compassion by saying to yourself, “Hurt and anger feel like this.” This is softening into your emotions. You do not judge your feelings, nor do you try to get rid of the hurt or the anger; you simply stay with the sensations, and they will self-liberate in their own time. Developing Relaxed Attention To feel the difference between relaxed attention with softening into awareness versus reactivity and clinging, continue with the exercise. Place your right forearm in the palm of your left hand Head IV, 1950 PAVELTCHELITCHEW(AMERICAN,1898-1957)PINK&WHITECHALK;43.8x34.9cm.©THECLEVELANDMUSEUMOFART,CONTEMPORARYCOLLECTIONANDFRIENDSOFTHECLEVELAQNDMUSEUMOFART1961.99 SEPT 44-49.indd 48 SEPT 44-49.indd 48 6/25/07 4:58:30 PM 6/25/07 4:58:30 PM