Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For weeks of September 7 & 14, 2015

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Inhabiting Our Emotions

(Presence Tools: 9)

Just as there exists an ocean of peace beneath our thoughts, that same ocean lies beneath our usual emotions. By our presence, we can connect our everyday heart with that sacred heart of the world, because presence spans all the levels, from above the surface to the spiritual depths. In that way, we discover the source of equanimity, joy, awe, compassion, love, and our kindred connection with others. In the heart of presence, we create an opening for those non-self-centered emotions to enter our experience.

The hallmark of inhabiting our emotions is equanimity: we are fully here and at peace with ourselves and our world. And that equanimity allows the other deep emotions to flow through as appropriate and necessary to our immediate situation. Within the heart of peace, joy, love, and compassion find room to arise. Not all the deep emotions are pleasant, but they are all uplifting, connecting us with the sacred. Grief is one example of such an emotion.

Another quality shared by all the deep emotions is that they are not about us, personally. They are not centered on us. They are not self-referential. Rather, the deep emotions come through us, from beyond us. To the extent that we are open to and welcoming of these sacred emotions, they inhabit us. It is right to say, that we, as our higher self, our real I, inhabit our emotions as the deep emotions.

Equanimity has a special place in this rainbow of emotion, because it paves the way for the rest. Our self-centeredness has no claim on or place in equanimity. When we are here, inhabiting our emotional heart, we connect with the ocean of peace that manifests to us as equanimity. We see and accept things as they are, without falling into indifference or passivity. We act, with vigor, to change things as necessary. Yet we do so from equanimity and conscience, not from a need to score ego points or to be in control.

Ego is like a mirrored surface on the ocean of feeling. From above, we only see ourselves and our emotions are centered on ourselves. From below, the deep emotions are reflected back down and cannot make it to the surface of everyday life. Presence breaks through this mirrored surface, dissolving it. We inhabit our emotional life. We do not recoil from it, nor do we center it solely on our personal desires and antipathies.

For this week, please inhabit your emotions. Be here, in your emotional heart. This means more than awareness of our emotions. It means occupying our emotions, being in them. And as the surface emotions subside, we are left in peace. And in peace, the other sacred emotions come up from their hidden source.


     

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