What do you do when your wisdom eludes you? When you feel overcome with emotion or ill equipped to handle life as it is? According to Buddhist teacher and author, Thich Nhat Hanh, our safest course of action is "indirect embracing."
Most of us have a difficult time embracing all of our emotions, especially the volatile ones. It is a genuine spiritual practice to embrace anger, greed, jealousy, and the like. But we can, with the help of our breath and an attitude of loving-kindness.
Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that you recognize the emotion by simply saying hello to it, offering it a slight smile, just like you would someone you're not fond of, but don't want to be impolite to. Allow this hello and an inner smile help you rest into your breath with gentleness. Relief can be yours.
©2023, Janice L. Lundy
Gentle and timely reminders for the spiritual journey, because sometimes we forget or need a kind nudge back to Center.
Dr. Janice Lynne Lundy (PsyD, DMin, MPC)
is The Gerald May Professor of Spiritual Direction & Counseling at the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is an interspiritual director/mentor, educator and counselor who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for nearly thirty years.