And yet five years later, I have discovered that in my intent to embrace all aspects of my being and experience and so experience all things directly, with dispassion, free of labels, free of my ego-mind, thus ending my suffering, I have not only freed myself from the emotions of my ego-mind, I have unintentionally repressed the expressions of feeling and loving-kindness that come from my heart. So for example, I may say to some one that I feel your pain, or I understand, but I say those words with no feeling. And so the person I’m trying to comfort feels I haven’t heard them at all; that I’m not there for them.
When a friend would say to me, “You’re not there,” “I have no one to talk to,” I didn’t understand what he meant. And when I asked him to explain, did not get a helpful response.
But the other day, when I was describing my emotional reaction to something very moving in a play I had seen, my voice caught, and the person said, “That’s what is missing from the way you respond to me when I’m upset.” I still didn’t really understand. I knew from past experience that responding with my emotions in a somewhat over-the-top way didn’t work.
But when I meditated the next morning, I saw very clearly what had happened. I had not only shut down my ego-mind’s emotions, but in the process I had repressed the feelings and loving-kindness that flow from my heart. I trust that with this clarity, the loving-kindness and feeling that is in my heart will be evident in the future; I will not sound bloodless.
As an aside, I am so very grateful for my meditation practice. I cannot tell you how often something that has occurred and puzzled me the previous day becomes clear during my meditation. The clarity with which I’m able to see myself and the world around me is a true gift of my practice.