Ricard: Stopping Identification with Emotions ; Part one

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Snow Falls
Photograph by Mark Duffy, National Geographic Your Shot
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The second way to deal with afflictive emotions is to dissociate ourselves mentally from the emotion that is troubling us.
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Usually we identify with our emotions completely.
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When we are overcome by anxiety or by a fit of anger, we are at one with that feeling.
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It is omnipresent in our mind, leaving no room for other mental states such as inner peace or patience, or to consider reasoning that might calm our discomfort.
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However, if at that moment we are still capable of a little presence of mind—a capability that we can be trained to develop—we can stop identifying with our anger.
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The mind is, in fact, capable of examining what is happening within it.
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All we need to do is observe our emotions in the same way we would observe an external event taking place in front of us.
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The part of our mind that is aware of the anger is just simply aware—it is not angry.
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In other words, awareness is not affected by the emotion it is observing.
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