"Life is the nature of problems and difficulties. When we accept that, we can make spiritual progress by recognizing how we react."
Mental and emotional health is important to our well-being, our creativity and our community in music and beyond. I'm on a quest to cultivate as much knowledge and truth in my current spiritual journey as possible. I'll be using this space to share what I'm learning and gathering.
I went to a meditation class yesterday evening at the Kadampa Meditation Center in Hollywood. The topic of the class was "Patience: If the Mind Accepts, There is No Problem," focused on anger, patience and how to accept things as they are, bookended by guided meditations at the start and end of the class.
Here are notes I took from the class. I will be attending next week's class on "Impermanence: Letting Go of Guilt & Resentment," so I will share notes from that class as well.
- Anger is on the continuum of rejection.
- Anger is not accepting what is.
- Anger is poison in the mind.
Alertness - be in the moment
- Courageously be in the moment and observe that “this doesn’t feel comfortable” feeling arising in your heart without rejecting, repressing, running away from or ignoring it.
- Catch anger early with alertness. Alertness is your wisdom. It keeps a look out, watches what happens within and scans for danger.
- Be motivated to watch out for what will rob you of your joy and peacefulness even in the face of something difficult or challenging.
- Take deep breaths and recognize there are different perspectives to come at a situation: practice meditation, compassion, and gratitude and keep a happy mind.
- Imagine your mind as an expansive sky. Imagine clouds as problems passing by and shrinking and going away.
- Imagine your mind as solid wood or stone and be still mentally. Thoughts racing will gradually soften.
- Build into your worldview that people will be inconsiderate, say mean things, etc.
- Recalibrate expectations of people and the world to reduce your anger.
- If someone is frustrating you and angering you, practice thinking and asking yourself:
- "I accept this person for who they are in this moment. I will not give away my inner peace to this person. They are acting out who they are in their mental development, just like I am."
- "This person is so kind to allow me to practice patience."
- What can I learn from this moment? What can this person teach me?"
- View your problem as your teacher: “This problem is evidence of my good fortune.”
Keep a happy mind
- Most of our emotional problems is a failure to accept things as they are.
- If something could be remedied, why be unhappy about it? If there’s no remedy, there’s no point in getting or being unhappy.
- Instead of reacting blindly because of our emotional habits, we should ask ourselves if it’s helpful or useful to be angry. Trust and rely on your positive mind and attitude instead.
- You can be in pain and enjoy it for its meaningfulness. View your problem as "It’s terrible, but it’s good because I'm growing and learning."