Walking in the forest of your mind

flowerFinding our emotions requires that we be receptive. We need to open up and just see what’s there.

Another way of looking at this whole process is to think what it would be like to go charging noisily into a forest that’s full of shy birds and other wild animals. What would we see? Probably not a lot. If we go crashing through the undergrowth then when we finally stop and listen and look around, the forest will seem like a pretty dead and bleak place.

But what if we were to creep very quietly into the forest, and just wait, and watch, and listen. If we were to be so still that we blended into the background. Well, just being there might still make some of the more shy creatures a bit evasive, but eventually, if we have enough patience and are still enough, we’ll begin to see the deer, and foxes, and birds that were there all along.

Similarly, any action we take in the mind causes some disturbance, making it harder for us to become aware of our experience. Subtle emotions, physical sensations, feelings, and even intuitions can be overlooked because we’re too busy pursuing some goal.

So think of your emotions as being like very shy creatures that you’ll only see if you are patient and quietly receptive. When you meditate, think of creeping very quietly inside of yourself, and standing patiently, with your ears and eyes (and heart) open. In a little while, you’ll see some of the “wildlife” that is your own emotional life.