Stages of emotions

Zen teacher Seung Sahn Soen-sa advises his student who had found herself consumed with anger at her son. He wrote:

After sitting yong maeng jong jin (silent meditation), your mind was clear. A clear mind is like a clear mirror, so when anger appeared, you reflected with angry action. You love your son, so you were angry. Is this correct? Don’t check your mind – when you are angry, be angry. When you are happy, be happy. When sad, be sad. Afterwards, checking is no good.

Your previous anger and the anger you talked about in your letter are different. Before yong maeng jong jin, it was attached anger; after yong maeng jong jin, your anger was only reflected anger. If you do more hard training, the reflected anger will change to perceived anger. After more practicing, perceived anger will disappear. Then you will have only loving anger – inside you will not be angry, only angry on the outside. So attached anger, reflected anger, perceived anger, loving anger – all are changing, changing, changing. Anger is anger; anger is the truth. Don’t worry, don’t check yourself – it has already passed. How you keep just-now mind is very important.

Acceptance and reflection of one’s emotions will bring about greater inner peace.

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