“…no matter what emotions arise, taking emotion as the path requires skill because emotions are strongly experienced in the body’s chemistry, as well as the mind.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche
According to the contemporary spiritual teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche, whatever you feel in any given moment is based on an earlier imprint in your being.
He explains that there are two types of imprints:
- Learned patterns
- Karmic residues
The number of imprints in our being is literally uncountable. Typically, it’s these patterns that are running the show of your life.
I suspect these learned patterns are similar to the “deceptive brain messages” discussed in the book You Are Not Your Brain. The reason deceptive brain messages are difficult – but not impossible – to change is because the very structure and function of the brain reinforces them.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche brings together the world of science with ancient wisdom to illustrate how we can change deeply held emotional habits. He says, to bring awareness to our emotional patterns, we need a roadmap, which has three elements:
- Emotion, feeling, mood
- Knowing, thinking, awareness
- The reified “I” and sense of fixation
We need to work with all three elements to free ourselves from stubborn emotional patterns.
Once of the most important keys is to welcome emotions – even the difficult ones – rather than seeing them as the enemy.