picks up from previous episodes discussing how damaging reactive emotions can be.
The 6 reactive emotions are:
- Rage or hatred
The healthy counter to this are the four constructive emotions/behaviors. They are called the four immeasurables and comprise:
⁃Equanimity – being free of prejudice and treating others as equal
⁃Loving-Kindness – dropping barriers and being open to others
⁃Compassion – empathizing with those who are in pain or suffering
⁃Joy – spontaneity, being free to move without needing affirmation or approval of others.
So, the question for today’s podcast is, “How is the negative energy taken from the reactive emotions and moved in the four healthy ones?”
The answer to this is an meditation method Gary has used for years which helps him get out of the trap of reactivity and connect with life and those around him.
The Tibetan name for this method is “tonglin,” which translates to “taking and sending.” It is a somewhat counter-intuitive technique but it really works.
The technique works this way:
– take a situation that promotes reactivity within you
– imagine people having a reaction similar to yours
– as you breathe in, imagine breathing in all those negative feelings
– as you exhale imagine sending those individuals some good quality about yourself that will help them let go of their own reactivity.
This can take time but is definitely worth the effort. In addition to helping get rid of reactivity one benefit is the opening of a portal back to connecting with others, back to community. You can be freed from being trapped inside one’s head stuck with all those reactive emotions.
Additionally, the ability surfaces to talk in a compassionate manner with some close who is causing difficulties. The negative energy of reactivity is converted to positive energy and you can empathetically talk with the person creating the difficulty and see if there is a solution.
Being realistic is critical. Also, tonglin provides no magic. It simply helps create energy and the ability to be present with what is going on right now and see if there are opportunities for constructively improving the relationship or situation. It may be that positive energy is used to move on by voting with your feet.
Tonglin also helps with flow by promoting a return to connectivity. This is especially helpful in business where it can be easy to agonize over problems or issues that are present. By practicing tonglin your eyes and ears can open to a situation (instead of obsessing) and the opportunity can be created to find a path — a path based on the four immeasurables, essentially taking care of yourself by taking care of your clients/customers.
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