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Vol-18 Ask Frank, Does ignoring thoughts and feelings…

Q. Does ignoring thoughts and feelings cause them to become buried in your subconscious. If I ignore a thought I can generally return to a quite mind state. It can be different when I have a strong feeling arise in me and I can become confused or taken out of that quite place. I am concerned that when I have a strong feeling it will continue to return if I don’t deal with it. Your thoughts please.

Frank

 Normal thoughts and feeling do not have to be analyzed as they arise from meditation. That would cause an enormous burden on your practice. All thoughts and emotions end up in the subconscious, but most are routine and cause no problems. The only ones that will need your attention are negative emotions that arise from a fear or outdated belief you have. You may be unaware of this fear or are in denial about it. You may have even buried it because it was painful, and you did not have the skills to deal with it.

Emotions can lead to feelings of love and gratitude. These are the ones I encourage meditators to focus on when moving from point consciousness, where we have cut of input from the 5-senses, to the being state. The being state is the love and gratitude state. This is the best state to resolve fear issues.

Emotions tell us when we need to pay attention to something. The practice of meditation will allow us to gain control over our mind, but it is a process that requires commitment. Meditation is a lot about the concept of letting go i.e., letting go of control over others, letting go of judgment, especially self-judgment, letting go of old beliefs that no longer serve us well. Being able to face the idea of being OK with anything and any outcome that may arise from any situation and is the goal of self-inquiry leading to a spiritual concept of surrender. It is a skill that deepens over time. The wisdom traditions refer this as cleansing or purifying the mind.

 Society teaches us to be in control  of things and take responsibility as much as possible, so the concept of releasing, letting go and surrender is not intuitive or natural for most of us. When a fear arises, they generally can be felt as stress/depression or anxiety. The stressful ones are the ones that require we go into the subconscious and work with it to identify the underlying memories that are causing this angst. It can be removed through auto suggestion and affirmation on your part. The subconscious responds well to programming, and it likes routine and structure. You can develop the skills to do this. 

Working with feelings of anxiety are generally easier to identify because they involve something that is happening now that you are projecting out into the future that is causing fear in you. To relieve these, the same process of working with the subconscious is required as with stress. Anxiety emotions can resolve themselves when the outcome of the fear you are experiencing is gone.

The fact that you can return to a “quite mind state” after a thought indicates a good foundation. You can move on from here to being able to address your fear emotions by 1. focusing on the being state before exploring them 2. come back to each negative thought until you fully understand its source, it may take several meditations and take you back to a childhood experience this is an important self-inquiry 3. understand the suggestion-to-subconscious technique.

To your last point not all “strong feelings’ continue or return especially if they are anxiety related to a current situation that will resolve itself. We sometimes have fear dreams which are not tethered in reality but attached to a mind that is falling asleep. You are in  good place to adjust your practice for moving to a higher level now. There is more information in my book and on the website about how to use techniques to reprogram the subconscious. 

Asking this question demonstrates to me your practice is expanding your consciousness. Explore recurring fears now and have the courage to confront them that is the short answer to your question.


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