The Emotional Effects of Meditation
Even if you think you are not an emotional person, you are likely to feel worlds and worlds of emotional nuances during even a 20-minute meditation session.
You will sometimes find yourself feeling safe and snug during meditation, and at other times you will run through all of the emotions you experienced in the past day or two. Specifically, your body will bring up for your review every emotion that you felt but did not express completely.
Whatever your natural responses were during the day that you could not or chose not to express will flow through your body, and you will feel them. What happens is often like this:
One moment you are focusing on your breath, the next moment you are in the theater of your mind, watching a soap-opera-like scene from your day, and you are noticing feelings you had in your body that you didnít fully appreciate at the time. It could be anything. You might find yourself hearing an undertone of sorrow in your friendís voice, and your heart aches. You could realize that you were jealous of someone but you didnít admit it to yourself at the time. Or, on your mindís screen you might find yourself looking into the eyes of someone you love and realize with a pang that you havenít heard from or reached out to her in a long time – too long.
This catharsis is an inseparable part of meditation. In nature, as in the theater or the opera, all of that drama can intensify the feeling of relief.
Adapted from Whole Body Meditations, by Lorin Roche, Ph.D. (Rodale Press, 2002).