This was the topic of the monthly dojo meeting I have with Reiki practitioners I’ve trained. Here are the salient points.
Humans have the unique ability to experience emotions. We think that because we have an emotional capacity, it has to be like a faucet that’s constantly on. Just because we have this ability doesn’t mean we have to be constantly emoting! The opposite also happens: emotions get shut off, like a faucet which is rusted and stuck. Emotions both delight and scare us. Some equate emotion with peak experience. Some are victim to their emotional nature. And some keep emotion firmly in lockdown.
Emotions are valuable. They are a large part of what makes us human, and they can enhance life experience, as well as provide helpful feedback. The trouble is we indulge emotions too long, too often and turn the whole thing into a command performance for a drama award. We must learn the fundamental difference between ‘having an emotion’ and our capacity to feel.
Being able to feel is the real attribute that gives life to our emotional nature. Emotions themselves aren’t as important as our ability to feel. Sadness is an emotion we don’t necessarily want. Sadness can be turned into a happy feeling. Thus it’s our feeling capacity we must prioritize. Being able to have an emotion isn’t sourced in the emotion; it’s sourced in our ability to feel. Sadness and happiness are emotions on a continuous stream of feeling. We like happiness and don’t like sadness. It’s skillfulness in feeling which facilitates the transition from one to the other.
Our feeling nature is an intuitive faculty. It comes from a part of us that’s not limited to spacetime. What’s behind our feeling ability? Awareness. Just like feeling ability is behind emotion, awareness is behind our ability to feel. Without awareness we’d be automatons. There are degrees of awareness. To increase our degree of awareness, emotional healing is usually needed. We all have wounds that need healing. Unless this work is done, emotions continue to trap us in their ongoing cycle of charge and reactivity.
Once we make whole emotional wounds, other levels of awareness open up. The emotional heart must be made whole before the spiritual heart becomes available and real. On one end of the emotional spectrum we remain in churning waters, unable to escape. On the other end, we’re happy, even exulted. Beyond either is a whole range of uncaused feeling.
Peace is such an uncaused feeling. It’s sourceless. It certainly doesn’t come from the emotional heart, or the human mind. Peace is simply there. We can access peace, feel it and embody it. We want to be clear and available enough in our emotional heart, so as to feel the peace that’s constantly beckoning us. Peace is a feeling state. It’s a state of being. States of being don’t become part of our experience when there’s still a lot of emotional crud to disperse, or we operate only at an emotional level, without knowledge of the whole range.
‘Emotion’ and ‘feeling’ aren’t synonymous. Feeling is a spiritual faculty sourced in self-reflective awareness. Awareness and its ‘tools’ lead to healing, as well as point to uncaused states such as peace or joy which inspire and propel our personal evolution.
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