Introduction - Discarding Conditioning
The aim is not to stop feeling emotions. Let all emotions come. This book aims to show that emotions are not wrong or bad, and need not be clung to or given such great importance. Emotions are fleeting, they are not meant to be held and kept, they are energy movements that come and go. To hold and cling on to emotions is a habit of the human mind, and it ends up creating great inner turmoil.
We can read spiritual or self-help books, listen to different teachers, and often a theme is to be at peace, cool and calm. Then, if we feel an emotion, such as anger or some kind of resistance, we can end up resisting the experience even more, since the mind believes it is "bad" or "should not be happening". Enough conditioning, spiritual or otherwise. Forget what you have learned about emotion.
If you were to forget what you think you know about emotions, if you were completely empty, had no assumptions that the emotions are who you are, and had no assumption that emotions need to be figured out or resisted, then this book would not be needed. This book aims to help you allow yourself to just be empty – an empty space in which emotion can come and go, rather than a solid-feeling person that sticks to emotions and suffers them. Even all useful spiritual guidance points you to no longer judge emotions. They point you to natural emptiness, natural un-knowingness. In this inner space, negative and futile reactions are no longer sustained, and so can be released naturally.
To be free of something, you give the thing freedom to be. The same can be said for emotions. Give up the fight, withdraw the belief that you should feel different, withdraw "you" altogether so that rather than the experience being personal and "yours", it is just an experience arising, affecting no-one.
Surrender to emotions without reservation. Let them be. Then what is useful remains, what is useless or harmful becomes dissolved. This takes place by itself when you allow inner trouble without resisting it. No longer believe what you have been told about emotions, no longer believe what your mind says about them, and no longer believe what the emotion says about itself. Go back to basics, just be aware of what happens. See that whatever you can perceive, including thoughts, personality and emotions, are all movements that happen by themselves – they are not who you are, nor are they yours to police. You are the awareness itself, which remains undisturbed. In the midst of inner trouble, your nonresistance dissolves it. You can allow yourself to remain untroubled. Nonresistance and nonjudgement are what burn up old pain most quickly and effectively, and set you free, whether emotion is there or not.
So, simply give up the burden of analysis and control. No longer argue with inner disturbances. They all arise in an undisturbed awareness.