The Buddha said some variant of, “All that you are is a product of what you have thought.” He meant that how we think determines our self-identity and our view of the world. It’s not the ‘right’ view, but rather how we frame our reality. Once we get the joke that the frame is warped by our perceptions, we can have a laugh and let it go.
It seems to me that life in the 21st century has been dumbed down and cheapened. Perhaps more so than ever before, people are fixated on buying happiness at any cost, and then depressing themselves when what they bought doesn’t have any lasting effect. The solution: Simple Presence as a Spiritual Discipline
Emotions arrive unbidden. Infants / children experience them without the filters later applied to them. Soon, the tribal ‘takeâ€™ on each emotional state is force fed to the child. “Big boys donâ€™t cry.â€ “Sugar and spice and everything niceâ€¦â€ “What have you to be angry about?â€ or “Iâ€™ll give you something to be angry about.â€ “If you keep pouting your face will freeze that way.â€
Now, you may think that this is unimportant, but I can guarantee that you have a whole list of internal and not-thought-through ‘rulesâ€™ about emotions.