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Mindfulness of Emotions, Both Healthy and Unhealthy Expressions
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Mindfulness of Emotions, Both Healthy and Unhealthy Expressions (34 min.) MP3
Transcript of a talk delivered by Brother ChiSing
February 5, 2014 - Unity of Houston - Houston, Texas

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. As I like to say here in Texas, Namaste, y'all. I would like to begin tonight with a little chanting and meditation just for a couple of minutes, and then I will give a talk on mindfulness of the emotions, both healthy and unhealthy expressions. So, please just sit in a nice mindful way, and you can close your eyes if you wish and just really feel your breath. (Plays shruti box) And repeat after me.

(Chants) May all beings be happy.
Audience: May all beings be happy.
ChiSing: May all beings be free.
Audience: May all beings be free.
ChiSing: May all beings be joyful.
Audience: May all beings be joyful.
ChiSing: May all beings be at peace.
Audience: May all beings be at peace.
ChiSing: May all beings be happy.
Audience: May all beings be happy.
ChiSing: May all beings be free.
Audience: May all beings be free.
ChiSing: May all beings be joyful.
Audience: May all beings be joyful.
ChiSing: May all beings be at peace.
Audience: May all beings be at peace.
ChiSing: May all beings be at peace.
Audience: May all beings be at peace.
ChiSing: May all beings be at peace.
Audience: May all beings be at peace.

ChiSing: Breathing in and breathing out, just feeling the breath in the body here and now. Let the clouds of thought just come and go. Let the clouds of sound just come and go. Let the clouds of body feelings come and go, and just keep coming back to the body like a still serene mountain. Come back to your true mind like the clear sky, vast, spacious, and free. Clouds cannot move a mountain. Clouds cannot touch the sky. You are not the clouds. You are the mountain. You are the sky. Breathing in and breathing out, here and now.

Breathing in and breathing out, now focus on your lower abdomen, perhaps visualizing or feeling as if there were a bright light shining in your lower abdomen. And they silently in your mind the phrase, I am safe, as you focus on the lower abdomen. Breathing in, I am. Breathing out, safe. I am safe.

Breathing in and breathing out, now move your awareness to the heart, perhaps visualizing or feeling as if there is a beautiful white light shining in your heart, and say the phrase silently in your mind, I am loved. Breathing in, I am. Breathing out, loved. I am loved.

Breathing in and breathing out, now move the awareness to the center of the head in the forehead, perhaps visualizing or feeling as if there is a beautiful white light shining in the center of the head in the forehead, and say this phrase silently in your mind: I am free. Breathing in, I am. Breathing out, free. I am free.

And now finally breathing in and breathing out, visualize or feel as if your whole body is full of divine light, and shine the light and love in all directions, to your neighbor sitting next to you, to everyone in this room, to this whole city of Houston, the whole state of Texas, the whole country of the United States, the whole continent of North America and South America, and the whole planet, and all the universe with this wish, may we and all beings be happy and free. May we and all beings transform our suffering. May we and all beings rejoice in all joys. May we and all beings be at peace, awakening to the truth of who we are, infinite light, infinite love, infinite life.

And let us all take three deep, slow breaths as we end our meditation. Let there be a gentle, peaceful smile on your face. Let your heart be full of gratitude. Amen. Thank you.

Well, thank you very much for having me speak tonight. I'm going to share a little bit more about my health journey this year toward the end of my talk, but for right now I will just say I have been searching and searching for the best water to drink, and I think I found it finally. Essentia. You can get it at Whole Foods. It is really good. A little plug. Maybe you can tell them I said something, and they can give me a little donation for that.

All right. Well, tonight, I would like to share about mindfulness—specifically about mindfulness and emotion. And as I am speaking with you tonight, I hope you will just send me a ray of healing light from your hearts to help support me in my health. So, mindfulness is awareness, and it is also to remember. It has many different layers of meanings, but primarily it means to be aware in a nonjudgmental way. In other words, it is a way of being that allows you to just accept things as they are. That doesn't mean that you do not transform things when necessary, but before you transform something, you need to know what it is that you're trying to transform, and the way to really know something is to except it fully and deeply.

So if you're having some sort of the issue or problem or challenge, instead of jumping right away to fighting it, resisting it, trying to change it or fix it, first start off with being with it as it really is, accepting it. I like to call meditation practice rap, R-A-P. Reality acceptance practice. So that will help you remember, okay? And there are different kinds of meditation. I'm not talking about every single kind of meditation. The primary kinds of meditation I am talking about are the ones that specifically focus on reality acceptance practice. There are other kinds of meditation that are good for other things also, but the one that I believe is primary foundational is reality acceptance practice. Then when you have that strongly laid down as a foundation in your meditation practice, then you can learn and add on with the other kinds of meditation practices.

But if you do the mindfulness part, the reality acceptance aspect first, it will make any other kind of meditation be even stronger. In fact, I believe from my experience and from the testimony of others that if we have a meditation and mindfulness practice as a core foundation of our spiritual practice, it really does enhance all other spiritual practices. It enhances affirmations and prayer and visualization and other kinds of spiritual practices.

So in the ancient teachings of the Enlightened One, there are four levels of mindfulness. So the first level of mindfulness is mindfulness of the body. This is the easiest one to do, because you can see the body. It is pretty obvious. So we start with the mindfulness of the body, and there are many different practices you can do to help you be mindful of the body. But one part of being mindful of the body is being mindful of the breath, because it is always there. You can use other objects for meditation. That is fine, but if, say, if you're using a candle, for example to focus, the problem is what if there is a wind that blows through it and blows it out? And then you have to get up and relight the candle.

But see, with your breath as your object of meditation, it is always there until you die. Hopefully you will know what is going on. So as long as you are alive, the breath is really a great companion for meditation. It is always there, and it is almost like a thermometer for your emotional well-being because depending on how your breathing, and tell if you are anxious or depressed or worried or whatever or nervous because you breathe in a different way when you're feeling those emotions. When you are at peace, the breath naturally goes deeper and slower and more even. So it always helps to be mindful of the breath so that you know how to take care of yourself better.

Then the second level of mindfulness is mindfulness of feelings. Mindfulness of feelings is made of two parts. There are the physical feelings and sensations. You know, I'm feeling cold. I'm feeling hot, things like that. But there are also the emotional aspects of feelings, you are feeling pleasant sensation, unpleasant sensation, or neutral sensation. And what is interesting about mindfulness and emotions in that regard is you start seeing how you have this habit of labeling certain things pleasurable, certain things unpleasant, and then you completely ignore things that you find neutral. And we lose so much of reality when we constantly do that, when we only grasp on to what brings pleasure or only push away things that are unpleasant and just completely ignore things that are neutral to us. That means a big percentage of reality is cut off from our awareness.

Because what happens, you see, not everything pleasant is necessarily good for us. I remember one time I was kind of depressed, and I just watched hours and hours of TV and I ate like two buckets of ice cream. Covered with ice cream. My favorite—do you have Braum's here in Houston? No? You got to go to Dallas then. It is the best ice cream. I think it is better than some of those other ones. I won't say. Blue Bell, the best ice cream in the country. And at first, it was pleasurable to eat my favorite ice cream, but after a few hours, I felt so ill and sick, and I learned my lesson from that. Not everything that is initially pleasant is necessarily good for us, which is why we should not go into the habit of just grasping onto what is pleasurable because it is not always good for us.

But the same is true with the opposite. Not everything unpleasant should be avoided because if we avoid everything that is maybe initially unpleasant, we might lose out on all the wonderful things that it may have to offer us. For example, exercising is not always pleasant. In fact, the first few times, there is a lot of pain. Okay? No pain, no gain, right? But if you just went by just the sensation of the unpleasantness and quit, then you will never get the full benefit of exercising. So do not avoid everything that is unpleasant, and don't just grasp onto everything that is pleasurable.

And thirdly, don't ignore everything that is just neutral to you because there is a lot of beautiful miracles within your body and all around us. There are so many beautiful experiences in life, divine spiritual experiences that you can have, but we tend to bypass them. We walk right past them. You know, it is as if there are millions of angels walking all around us, and yet we just bypass them and we do not even notice them. Because we have not trained ourselves to be mindful and to make sure that we are not ignoring the things that are neutral to us.

The third level of mindfulness is mindfulness of the mind, and this is a really good, interesting part of mindfulness, because you can start really understanding the way you think and also understanding your emotional states that are triggered by your thoughts. Not just your conscious thoughts, but also your unconscious and subconscious thoughts. You know, a lot of what we do in the way we make decisions, it is only 5%, 10% maybe of conscious mind, conscious will. The other 90% or more is your decisions are made at deeper levels already before you are even conscious of saying out loud what you're trying to decide. There is even now scientific proof in the science of neurology but this is actually true, at least on the physical brain and nervous system level. And I believe it is also true on the spiritual and emotional and mental levels as well.

So, we have to practice deeper kinds of spiritual practices, such as meditation and mindfulness because really, without those kinds of deeper transformative mind practices, it is so hard to really go to that deep unconscious level and to understand our minds and our thinking at those subconscious levels. But as you practice meditation regularly and consistently over many days, weeks, months, and years, you will start noticing that it is a lot easier to see how your thoughts trigger your emotions and create your experience of reality.

Wow. I only have five more minutes? I haven't even gotten into my main lecture with yet. Okay. Give me ten minutes, please? All right. Blah, blah, blah. I just talk a lot because I just love to share. But anyway, come to my workshop on Saturday, and I can give you a lot more. The reason why we make it four hours long is because it is necessary. Because what we do at that workshop, it is a retreat. It is not just more words. It is in actual practice. So tonight, I am just giving you the menu, but if you really want to order from the menu and eat, you will come to the retreat.

So many people in churches, it is unfortunate. They collect menus every Sunday, but how many times do they actually eat, feed it truly on the inspiration and practices? This is a different matter. So please do not be Sunday morning only Christians, but really be true Christians, true spiritual practitioners who actually put these things into practice and application. I love Unity churches because their very motto is practical Christianity. It is not just about beliefs and doctrines and dogma is. It is about practice and application to transform our lives. We don't just believe in God. We let God transform us by the renewing of our minds so that the light shines. Oh, I can just feel the Holy Spirit right now. I just want to say thank you to my family in the back row. They raised me good in the Southern Baptist tradition.

So, the fourth level of mindfulness is mindfulness of reality, mindfulness of the spiritual principles that operate in reality. And when you get to that level of mindfulness, watch out. Miracles happen. Because once you get to the level of mindfulness of the spiritual principles of reality, you can change everything and anything through the power of your mindfulness, which comes through the divine. You see?

There is a Scripture in the Psalms that says that God is aware of everything that you do and knows everything about you. When I read that Scripture many years ago because of my meditation practice, I realize what it really means. What it is really saying is that God is mindfulness. God is the source of mindfulness. God is the original mindfulness because God is mindful and aware of all things and all people. So the reason why we can practice mindfulness is because we are created in that image. God is mindfulness, and therefore we are mindfulness, and we can practice that mindfulness to become clearer, more powerful channels of that divine inspiration.

Now to my lecture somehow. I'm going to get through it. So let us go to the next slide. When you are mindful of emotions, it is important to be mindful of your body and your energy body. Now I'm not going to go into all of the energy centers in the body, but if you want to read up on the energy centers of the body, you can. In one tradition, in India, they call them chakras, but they're called different things in different traditions. So we want to be mindful of the different energy centers in our body because they give us clues about our health. They give us clues about what is not working in our emotional state. They give us clues about what we need to transform about ourselves. Let us go to the next slide.

Now, in the Chinese philosophy, which I love because I am Chinese—but anyone can enjoy Chinese philosophy. You do not have to be Chinese. Maybe you were Chinese in a past life. Who knows? But I love Chinese philosophy, especially as it relates to looking at our different energy centers. I like the Chinese way of looking at energy because it really simplifies it to three power centers. So, one power center is in the lower abdomen. Another power center is in the heart, and another power center is in the center of the forehead. These relate to the Chinese philosophy principles of earth, humanity, and heaven. And when you are in harmony with all three energies, that is when you have optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

So, I went to look at these energy centers from an emotional point of view. As I was meditating on these, I realized the lower abdomen energy center really helps us get in touch with physical life, our physicality on the earth, and the heart center puts us in touch with our humanity and our connectivity with others and our own human wisdom, and then the upper center connects us with the wisdom of the divine and of heaven, of the cosmos, all that is angelic and celestial.

So as I was meditating on these three energy centers, I realize that you can also correspond certain emotional states to them. And this is not necessarily absolute truth. This is what I understood from my meditation, but you know. You meditate on it. Maybe you will come up with something similar or different. All right? So as I meditated, I realized—let us go to the next slide. So you have earth, human, and heaven. When I wanted to correspond these two emotions, the center, I thought, well, what makes the most sense is love in the heart. Then I tried to think, what would the lower center be? And I thought, well, it is related to the power center and the sexual energy center and the vitality center, so I thought, ooh, joy. Yes. So we know what I'm talking about. And then the upper center that corresponds to heaven, what I am thinking, okay, when my mind is free and at peace, what is that? Well, peace.

And by the way, I did a little meditation with the energy centers earlier, right? So, joy, love, and peace are three fundamental positive emotions of what it means to be a human being. If you're missing any of these three, then you might want to be more mindful on how to enrich and increase these wonderful human emotions. And then as I kept thinking about it, I thought, wait a minute. Love, joy, and peace, they are not the only emotions that exist in a healthy human being. So I started thinking about other emotions, and so let us go to the next slide.

Well, corresponding to love, there is also anger perhaps, and corresponding to joy, there is sadness, and corresponding to peace would be fear perhaps. Okay? That is what came to me in my meditation. And I realized, see, at first I thought, these are the positive emotions, and these are the bad, evil emotions. But as I kept meditating on it, I realize, no, even fear, anger, and sadness have a place in our human emotional system. I mean, look at Jesus and look at Buddha. Look at other spiritual teachers. They all had all of these six emotions, not just three. Didn't Jesus cry when Lazarus died? And didn't Jesus get angry when the people at the temple were taking advantage of people financially, right? And didn't Jesus feel a little bit of fear on the night before he was crucified as he is praying and sweating blood, very, very afraid?

So a true human being, which is what Jesus modeled for us, has all six kinds of emotions. But see, here's the difference. When we are mindful, we know how to keep all of these healthy, and we know how to take care of our fear. We know how to take care of our anger. We know how to take care of our sadness, and we know how to increase our love, our joy, and our peace when we practice mindfulness.

But when we do not have mindfulness, what happens? Then our emotions go into unhealthy forms of expression, you see? Especially when we reject what we think of as bad motions. What happens when you reject a so-called bad emotion? It actually then becomes unhealthy. Before was just a normal emotion, but by rejecting it, hating it, suppressing it, being resistant to it and not dealing with that, not nurturing it and embracing it, then that is when it becomes unhealthy.

So let us go to the next slide. Next slide. So, when we don't know how to mindfully take care of our severe, it can lead to states of anxiety and paranoia. When we don't know how to mindfully take care of our anger, it can lead to hatred and revenge and violence, destruction, and wars. And when we don't know how to mindfully take care of our sadness, it can lead to extreme forms of depression that are debilitating much longer than necessary. And I'm not talking about medical depression. I'm talking about just the kind that is not necessarily medical. I have to say that, because there are always doctors in the room somewhere.

All right. Then I meditated further. Well, if the so-called negative emotions have unhealthy expressions, well, do the positive emotions have unhealthy expressions? Surely not. And yet, as I meditated on it, I realized yes, they also—because if we do not mindfully take care of our positive emotions, they can lead to unhealthy ones. Next slide.

So without mindfulness of emotions, our peace can lead to apathy and indifference. You know, everything is okay. I don't care. Let the whole world go to hell, and I just don't care because I am at peace with God. I am just enjoying my mountaintop. Who cares if people are starving? I don't need to do anything. All is one. All is good. Be careful. You are leaning very close to a false teaching. You know, false teachings are very tricky because they are not false so much because they're so opposite the true teachings. They're false because they are so close the truth, so be careful.

Now love, when unchecked with mindfulness can lead to possessiveness and obsession and codependency, you know? And jealousy. And joy, when not taking care of mindfully, can lead to mania and unhealthy, dangerous kinds of fun, when you just kind of create joy gone wild. All right? It can become harmful, said be careful. All right.

So now we want to be mindful of all of our emotions, and I just want to conclude by saying that as I was meditating on these three energy centers, I just wanted to share with all of you because I would love for you to pray for me and not just say you're going to pray for me, but actually do it. Because you know, people can say, "Okay. I will pray for you," but they don't really pray, right? It is just like in the book of James in the Bible, you know, what good is it my brother if you say, oh brother, be well, be blessed, and you don't even give them food or shelter whatever that they need. What good is that kind of faith? Faith without works is dead. So prayer without actually praying is dead. So if you're going to pray for me, please really pray for me, because if you're just saying, "I'm going to pray," but you do not actually pray, well, that is not worth it to me. That kind of prayer doesn't work. I want practical, applicable, transformative prayer, okay? All right.

So as I was meditating on these energy centers—yes, I want to share with you that I have a health opportunity this year. I just found out a couple of months ago that I have nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which is the nose-throat cancer, at stage III. And so I'm trying to do a lot of education and research right now to know what is the best way to treat this in a well-rounded, holistic way for my best chances of survival so that I can continue to keep shining a light for least 44 more years. You know, I'm only at the halfway point right now, so that is what I am affirming, and I am enjoying all of your prayers.

But as I was meditating on these three energy centers, I realized as I was struggling, should I do the herb stuff? Should I just rely on spiritual healers? Should I go to the doctors? I mean, what should I do? I don't know. It is so confusing. And of course I have 1,000 friends on Facebook, and so I have 1,000 suggestions on what to do, and it is even more confusing. But as I meditated, I realized, oh, there are three energy centers. So if I want to be in harmony and have the best chances of healing, I need to do all three kinds of healing. The herbs and the plant-based nutrition correspond to the earth energy center. Eating right and exercising and doing all the things like that. And prayer, meditation, visualization, spiritual healing, qi gong, qi energy, and also the wisdom of human science—wisdom of human science and wisdom of human doctors. If I can do all three, I have much better chances of being healthy and whole and happy.

Now, I just want to like to do a little disclaimer here. That doesn't mean that all herbs are good for you. It doesn't mean that all spiritual healers are for real, and it doesn't mean it that every single aspect of Western medicine is the best. You have to do research because there are a lot of different options you may not know about. One doctor might only know one particular protocol because that is the way they learned in school, but he may not know anything about some other things. So be mindful to have awareness of all sides, not just Western science, but also Eastern science. Not just Western doctors, but also other kinds of doctors. Okay? And then through prayer, meditation, you will be guided to the right protocols. So I felt so happy when this was real to me and my spirit to balance all three aspects for healing on my healing journey.

So, let's go to the next slide real quick. So just please be mindful and take care of all of your emotions and all of your energy centers and practice meditation. Next slide. And remember it is not just for human beings. The mindfully compassionate toward all animals, too. Amen. God did not just create humans. God created all beings and animals too, so we need to practice love and compassion toward our animal friends as well, and that will help us to transform Planet Earth where everyone and every being feel safe and loved and can be a shining expression of what God meant them to be.

So let's go to the last slide.

Thank you so very much for listening to me tonight, and if we don't have time… We do have time, okay. I'd like to close with a visual meditation [audio fades…]

Transcribed by Jessica Hitch

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