Emotional Upheaval

Have you been experiencing emotional upheaval lately? In Ayurveda, when addressing someone’s health, we always consider inner and outer environmental conditions. With the storm and high winds, it came as no surprise that this weekend’s teacher training program was filled with emotional intensity and fluctuations.

 Unfortunately for us in the west, we generally have very little intelligence when it comes to managing our emotional health, resorting to blame, victimhood, violence or withdrawal.

 One of the beautiful results of spiritual practice is the ability to be present to our thoughts and emotions without becoming fully absorbed in them. By developing a greater awareness of our wisdom mind, or vijnana, we can listen fully to our emotional dynamic, but with a sense of detachment. 

 In Buddhism, this is the difference between relative truth, our daily absorption in emotional experiences, and the absolute truth of pure awareness, where we witness emotions without becoming engaged.

There is a chant in yoga, used to help us deal with difficulties in life by lifting us from our limited awareness to the wisdom realm of pure awareness. It goes like this:

Sohum Sohum Sohum

I am not my body, my body is not mine,

I am not my emotions, my emotions are not mine,

I am not my thoughts, my thoughts are not mine,

I  am that (pure awareness, or wisdom mind),

I am that I am.

To simplify, inhale repeating ‘So’ to yourself (meaning ‘I am’) and exhale repeating ‘hum’, (meaning ‘that’).

 If you too are experiencing tumultuous emotions these days, try reciting this chant and dial in to your wisdom mind where clarity, solutions and peace reside.