Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For week of August 10, 2015

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An Emotional Life

(Presence Tools: 6)

Feeling our way through life, our emotions guide us. We feel the poles of approach and avoidance, pleasant and unpleasant, desire and repulsion, curiosity and boredom, happiness and sadness, confidence and fear. Our emotional heart acts as an intuitive sensor perceiving and responding to whatever comes along. We do not need to think about whether to like something or not. We just like it, donít like, or donít care. The immediacy of our emotions gives them great power. We inherently trust our heart to point the way.

This all sounds fine. So what is the role of spiritual inner work with regard to our emotions? Where does presence come into our emotional life?

We tend to collapse into any emotion that reaches a certain threshold of intensity. We get lost in it. We disappear. The emotion takes us over. Yes, we have an internal monitor performing functions like stopping any violent impulses that arise in conjunction with the emotion of anger, for example. But here we are not concerned primarily with such extreme cases. Rather, we look to the everyday experience of feeling and being lost in that feeling.

In some cases, that might be a good thing, like becoming totally absorbed in a moment of playing a musical instrument or in participating in a sport. Those are cases of heightened awareness. But the usual thing is that when we lose ourselves to an emotion, our life is narrowed thereby, our field of view diminishes, our presence weakens.

We seek to feel what we feel, so that we are here, feeling it, we are here, in the feeling. We do not seek separation, our mind on one side and our heart on another. That destroys the spontaneity of life. We seek conscious participation. Rather than disappearing, we are here in our heart, in our life. We feel our emotions as emotions. We do not wall off the unpleasant, unwanted emotions. We feel whatever we are feeling. We open our arms wide and embrace our life, our heart in all its manifestations. And in that way, we reintegrate our disparate emotional parts, the disowned pieces of our self. And by integrating our emotions, we heal and become whole. And in becoming whole, we become our self, here in presence, here as presence.

In the heart of presence, love comes, because nothing blocks it. Joy comes. Awe and wonder come as our eyes are made new.

We usually regard awareness and consciousness to be associated with our mind, our head brain mind, the one that thinks. This practice, however, is not concerned with thinking about our feelings. It concerns awareness, which goes well beyond our thinking mind. By allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, we bring a direct, emotional awareness to our feelings. We reclaim what we have cast aside. We become more unified, while broadening our contact with life.

For this week, please feel what you feel.


     

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