Psychology + Zen = Philosophy and methods to relieve suffering and reveal happiness.

Psychology:  We project onto others what we reject in ourselves.  Some call it a Shadow.  Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious, taking responsibility for our projections, integrating what is split off as our own thing. 

Zen:  There is no separate self.  When we can be at one with every aspect, then we belong everywhere and we reject no one.  

We heal the world by becoming intimate with our whole selves.   

Entries in Feelings (19)


Even the Good Stuff

Sit with it, psychology supervisors would say in grad school.  She needs to sit with her sadness, guilt, dilemma, etc.  In practice, I learned that most clients interpret this as submitting to their inner attacker until it hurts a lot, really really enough, and then, having done their duty, getting back to what’s actually fun and lively.  Fortunately, as I sat in my own meditation, I was able to clarify the process and then guide clients through it.  Sitting with it means that we allow the connection between thoughts and feelings to dissolve.  When they stop reinforcing each other,  we are freed from repetitive loops and we can actually move on, not just push through.  

But here’s the thing:  When stuff feels awful, we work pretty hard at this.  We get good at identifying our inner critical introjects and naming them as thoughts and not obeying them and returning to our sensation and All That.  Because we want to feel better, right?  But then we do.  We feel better.  And then we’re done, we think.  No more pain.  I graduated.  But…  then… alas.   It slips away.   What happened to that good feeling?  

That’s the question in the air, along with

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Feeling Thought Loops

It  goes like this:  You have a feeling, say anxiety, and a thought comes with it, say: I gotta get outa here!  It's more like a command, isn't it?  So you obey, right?  You try to get out.  But maybe you can't, so you get more anxious; as you get more anxious, your mind develops the thought, embellishing the fantasy of disaster if you fail to escape.  More anxiety.  Shall I go on?  Have you been there?

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Get your feelings out! 

Not so fast!   If you feel like murdering someone, kicking your dog, running from challenge, eating til you can't you do it?

No.  right?  you don't, right?  

Feelings are not facts, but they make our beliefs seem like facts.

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Take Anger, for example

The problem with anger is that not only are we really not allowed to murder people, but we've been told since day 1 (ok, maybe 121, but still, pretty early) that if we are angry, we are bad and wrong and...crazy...also ugly....and...well, maybe it's just me but it's a rare duck that really surfs with anger.   With all those nasty descriptions, it would certainly seem like a better idea to not get angry.  But we do anyway, right?  So we try to hold it in.

So, then when we were 20something maybe we got the idea that we should let it all out.  We went around telling people the truth about the way I feel.

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Crips on the Subway

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:33PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

My hips were already hurting as I was standing on the platform.   I could almost feel the relief of the seat as I waited for the train…and waited…and… the desire intensified with the growing awareness of the delay, the imagined relief intensifying the pain.  

By the time the train pulled in, a crowd had gathered and I was terrified of the competition for seats.   Naturally, there was exactly one seat in the car and the woman who pushed her way past me got it.    In agony, I pondered:  Was she disabled?  My hips don't have a big sign on them and I'm not carrying any supports like crutches.  Do I say something?  What if she is mentally disabled and doesn't understand the subway protocol?   If she gets angry and accuses me, do I understand her as limited or mean?  What's the difference?  Who deserves what?

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It's All Worthy

If you've read What's the Rush?, you already know how my mind complicates the effort to walk a simple line from here to there. What I learned is that I need to surrender to my mind's need to wander, and book myself some play time, some empty time to do and think whatever I want.  Oh yes, it solves everything, except that I have to rush like crazy to get to my scheduled play time.  

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You Just Don't Get It

You just don't get it, said her eyes into my silence.  My beautiful dark-skinned friend from a South American country had just told me of her troubles getting a Visa, indicated how hard she worked in a restaurant to support her dancing.   I felt for her, so the distrust was painful.  Was it distrust, or was I projecting my own?   

Like most of my young dancer friends, she asks me nothing about my life, as if it is already established, not in question.  If they did ask, they might hear

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Department of Defense

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:52PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Three bikes already stolen, and yesterday, one mangled beyond rideability.   If I knew who the enemy was, I'd sign up for the war!

Moving to the city last winter from our little village of Nyack, the family warmed to the sight of all the bicycles zipping around the city.  So, we brought our bikes over, chained them to a fence near our apartment in Washington Heights.  No dummies, we purchased good city locks and worried a little but not too much.  Well....first, mine was taken by someone who cut the fence to which it was attached.    I was hurt, put a sign up saying "hey, if you really needed a bike, you could have asked me for it."   But I got a new one--it was an old bike anyway.  Chained the new one to a better pole, where it survived one day before disappearing without a trace.  Next, my daughter's mountain bike fell prey to the dark force of greed.  

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Happy Holidays!!!!  Really?

My daughter was surprised when I mentioned that I always get a lot of business this time of year.  "But isn't everyone happy during the Holidays?"  Exactly.   Everyone is supposed to be happy, and woe to those who aren't.  Woe drives them to the shrink.

Among the animals, humans are uniquely gifted with the ability to aspire. 

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