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Resolving Our Negative Emotions

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Resolving Our Negative Emotions

As I was reading Lauren Nagel’s excellent article, Holding Space for Oscar Grant, I was reminded how difficult it is to process emotions without having a daily practice of meditation. In the heat of a moment, where anger and rage need to be expressed, trying to remember that these emotions have no significance and come from the sufferings of the mind, just doesn’t hold water. The Buddha taught that all beings, without exception, are endowed with “buddhanature,” the heart of enlightenment, and that everyone has the potential to fully awaken to his or her truest state; but when faced with the atrocities carried out by fellow citizens it is an extremely hard lesson to remember.

Although the buddhanature is the natural state of our mind, we nevertheless experience various forms of confusion, disturbing emotions and uncertainty, what in Buddhist teachings are called the three kleshas, or root mental afflictions.

Greed: Grasping, attachment, clinging, fear of losing.
Hatred: Ill will, aggression, aversion, fear of being opposed.
Delusion: Illusion, ignorance, lack of awareness, fear of seeing the truth.

These mental afflictions block the perception of our true nature and are the cause for all actions that are harmful to ourselves and to others. The offspring of these root afflictions are fear, jealousy, anger, and avarice. Each one feeds off the other as one thought builds into the next and then the next thought. As long as your mind is ruled or controlled by the thoughts that pass through it, you will suffer from fear and the root mental afflictions. It is only after coming to understand your true nature that you can begin to free yourself of fear. However, you will need control of your mind in order to release the hold of your mental afflictions. And this is where a meditation practice is helpful.

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Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include author, artist, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia's blogs: and. To view her website go to


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6:44AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Thanks for this - and for the warning about taking on the world's fear and anger!

12:28PM PDT on Aug 6, 2010

Thank you.

5:58AM PDT on Aug 5, 2010

Meditation is really great, but I do it for my Yôga classes (well used to do - have to get back at it).

Great article! Thanks for sharing!!! :-)

11:43PM PDT on Aug 3, 2010

I Think meditation can be about finding the wisdom to know how to act in a way that is helpful and inspiring..... right thought,right word,right action..

7:09AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

Excellent article and i work to try and be positive each day!!It makes a great impression for my children to be as well.

3:27PM PDT on Jul 28, 2010

Great article. Thank you. Annette, that is atrocious & it breaks my heart into pieces. Please keep spreading the word on that. Animals need us to speak for them, to stop the cruel injustices that are done to them. I have nothing but contempt for those who abuse helpless, beautiful creatures for their own profit or pleasure. I'm working hard on creating some love for these people, but, man, is it hard.

5:10PM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

Come see the War on Abuse. It can help filter out negative and open up positive.

10:29AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010


10:28AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

It might be a good thing to find out what to do to reduce the pain and suffering people experience.

Thinking is not enough, sometimes action is also needed.

10:09AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

Thank you

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Very informative! I wish I knew someone who could benefit from it.

To relieve the horrible itching/ swelling - I carry a tube of StingStop. It's a homeopathic ointmen…

Interesting. Hopefully our society will continue to become more tolerant.


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