14th March 2015
Stop and be present
This book has taken a while to read and has been a great lesson in patience. Reading, re-reading, re-re-reading and re-re-re-reading took up most of my free time in January and February it’s pretty safe to say.
So…was it worth it?100% yes. Hand on heart, there are many areas of this book where ideas and concepts are introduced from both a Tibetan Buddhist point of view and a Western scientific point of view that, at this stage in my life regardless of how many ‘re-‘s I put in front of reading, I do not understand and without years of further studying I probably never will truly understand. I do however understand the ideas presented at their basic level and can relate to them in my own way.
During YTTC at WLYA, we learnt about kleshas or structural defects, negative tendencies or afflictions of the mind that are within us. Jeenal gave us a really good solid understanding of how ‘wrong thoughts are born through ignorance and the thoughts they create are of fear and anxiety’ and therefore when in the grip of a negative emotion we should stop.
Stop and be present.
Stop and acknowledge the negative emotion.
Stop and don’t act driven by the negative emotion.
This lesson in particular really resounded with me as I have a short temper and as I am growing I am learning how to deal with it. This book was for me, the next step in addressing what I knew from WLYA and building on it through my own learning and if you read the book I hope it will be as insightful for you as it was for me.
Destructive Emotions is part of the Mind & Life Series where the Dalai Lama and selected scientists from relevant fields meet over five days and talk about how Buddhism and science can work together to support and compliment each other and in turn humanity.
The main ideas of the book are, in my words:
- What is a destructive emotion?
- How do you deal with a destructive emotion?
- Why should people bother dealing with them?
- What are the benefits of removing destructive emotions from our lives?
I am not going to answer all these questions or you’ll never read the book! But what is interesting from the start is the two very different perspectives of what a destructive emotion is.
Western thinking is that ‘destructive emotions are those emotions that are harmful to oneself or others’.
Tibetan Buddhism considers a destructive emotion as ‘something that prevents the mind from ascertaining reality as it is’ thus disturbing the balance of a calm and peaceful mind.