Video: How to stay with unpleasant feelings?

The dhamma talk for this week at the Buddhist Society of Western Australia was given by Venerable Hasapanna.   The topic, how to stay with unpleasant feelings.

Here is a summary of what I remember from this video.


Why deal with unpleasant feelings?

The Buddha said feelings lead to thoughts, thoughts to words, words to actions.
The Buddha there are 4 kinds of actions:
1. actions that are unpleasant in the present and produce unpleasant results in the future.
2. actions that are unpleasant in the present, but produce pleasant results in the future.
3.  actions that are pleasant in the present, but lead to unpleasant results in the future.
4. actions that are pleasant in the present and lead to pleasant feelings in the future.

Actions become habits and habits become patterns in regards to the type of actions .

Unpleasant feelings that are not dealt with lead to actions, habits, and patterns that produce unpleasant results.

Unpleasant feelings that are not dealt with lead to the frequent occurrences of panic attacks, anxiety, and depression as is seen in societies of today.

People develop a habit of not dealing with unpleasant feelings by pushing them aside.  It is such an ingrained habit they do not notice that they do it, nor are they ever fully conscious of the feeling being there ( “suppression” ).   This leads to the aforementioned problems with anxiety and depression, and the habit patterns of choosing actions that lead to more unpleasant results.

Doing metta meditation in the morning can keep unpleasant feelings from arising, but it doesn’t always work.

Thought substitution can bring temporary relief.

Metta meditation and thought substitution can be abused, in that people can use them to suppress and wallpaper over their problems with happy thoughts, which will only lead to the suppressed feelings growing stronger.

Suppressing a feeling strengthens a feeling making it more likely to recur and lead to bad further bad actions.   Suppression is when you push a feeling away without being aware that the feeling was ever there.

The way to deal with unpleasant feelings is to gradually build up the ability to be fully aware of them as they happen, and then to sit with the unpleasant feelings ( stay in awareness of them ) passively.  You also want to practice passively watching your thoughts.

You can develop the ability to be aware of feelings as they occur by bringing your mind back to the present moment whenever you notice it isn’t there AND do so without getting frustrated that your mind doesn’t stay in the present moment.   This will also strengthen your mind in other ways.

Keeping unpleasant feelings in your awareness, staying with them, is simple, but unpleasant to do.   You can build up to it, starting with short amounts of time and gradually lengthening the time you do it.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to Video: How to stay with unpleasant feelings?

  1. jks8241 . says:

    Wonderful Steve,

    Thank you for posting this. The wisdom of monks! I will be happy to announce Bhante’s Panna upcoming visit next week when I learn the topic of his teaching.

    May you have every blessing and May the Devas protect you! Jennifer

    On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 8:50 PM, The Washington D.C. Buddhist Studies Group wrote:

    > Steve posted: “The dhamma talk for this week at the Buddhist Society of > Western Australia was given by Venerable Hasapanna. The topic, how to > stay with unpleasant feelings. Here is a summary of what I remember from > this video. Why deal with unpleasant feelings? T” >

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