More on waves and thoughts

I have been reflecting more on waves and thoughts. An advice that came to my mind is by my principal Dzogchen teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche, who often advises to make friends with thoughts and emotions and to be like a charming host or hostess when they become difficult.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Another one of my teachers, Mingyur Rinpoche, writes in his recent book Joyful Wisdom about the futility of fighting against ones emotions. He recounts how he told his teacher about his problems with fear and panic attacks. His teacher responded by comparing thoughts and emotions to the bandits in Tibet. They posed a great danger to any traveler but to fight them was not a good idea. The best way to deal with them is to make friends with them and hire them as your body guards. Then their power and strength actually becomes your advantage.

The advice of Mingyur Rinpoche’s teacher was to be “like a clever traveller and invite your problems to come with you. When you are afraid, don’t try to fight the fear or run from it. Make a deal with it.‘Hey, fear, stick around. Be my bodyguard. Show me how big and strong you are.’ If you do that often enough, eventually the fear becomes just another part of your experience, something that comes and goes. You become comfortable with it, maybe even come to rely on it as an opportunity to appreciate the power of your mind. Your mind must be very powerful to produce such big problems … When you no longer resist a powerful emotion like fear … you’re free to channel that energy in a more constructive direction. When you hire your problems as bodyguards, they show you how powerful your mind is. Their very fierceness makes you aware of how strong you are.” (p.26-27)

While this advice was specifically about fear, it can be applied to any other emotion. I don’t find it easy but l have been trying to look at my thoughts this way and to remind myself that when I try to suppress or avoid my thoughts and emotions I am attempting to block the most powerful aspect of my mind. I am not very successful with this yet, but it makes sense to me that if I am able to stop seeing these aspects of myself as enemies, they will become strong and powerful friends in my life.

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