Q: Some people relate emotions to thought, to the brain. Others relate emotions to the body. Where do emotions live?
A: You know, brain and body are two very sweet concepts, and I'm sure that in a few hundred years scientists will laugh when they see memories of what we're talking here, mind and body, or brain and body. The brain is the body, the body is the brain, there's no difference. We realize more and more that the brain is everywhere in the body, as the body is everywhere in the brain, there's no difference.
And you asked, “are the emotions within us?” but there's no us. It's a very sweet idea, but there's no us. Emotion is life. So you feel fear. Stop thinking you feel fear. Now, there is fear in your belly, there is fear in your throat, there is fear in your chest. The fear is hot, the fear is warm, the fear is expansion, the fear is heavy, the fear is tension, the fear is dry, the fear is humid. If you let this feeling of fear unravel, you will destroy totally the idea of you—or somebody else.
There's nothing personal in emotion. There's nothing personal in life. There's nothing personal in your liver, your brain or your mind. It is what it is. Personality is a concept. Emotions don’t belong to personality. The more emotions are allowed to live in a very open way, the more they free us from this fantasy of being somebody. You don't need to be somebody. Emotions have no owner. That's why emotion is the universal ground, that's why you like to go to a theater or to the music with friends, and even to look at the moon. When you look at the moon with friends, it is more beautiful. Why? Because you all share this listening to the moon, you share this openness. When you go to a concert with somebody, with friends, you listen better. Why? Because listening stimulates listening. Nobody listens in concerts, there is listening. Nobody sees the moon, there is seeing. There is oneness.
Q: Would Eric give us some homework until we see him again next time? Some practices, something to bring it into life.
A: The homework is to love yourself, because you have nothing else, really. All the rest will go, but you will always remain here. So your child will go, your lover will go, your husband will go, your parents will go, your country will go, your body will go, but you will always remain here. So you have to love what is there. And love is abiding in what is there.
Love is not knowing. If you know what is there, you don't know. If you know what is there, you're pretending, you're just making up a concept, you say ‘I am like that.’ Love is not knowing. Not to know is to be open. Moment to moment, day by day, be more and more incredibly attentive, incredibly present, incredibly intense, incredibly careful of what you feel. When somebody likes you, feel it; when somebody hates you, feel it. When somebody respects you, feel it; when somebody doesn’t respect you, feel it. When somebody attacks you, feel it. Feel it more and more. No comment, nothing good, nothing bad, no preference. It's fine, what happens happens. Of course, your mind will like this and won't like that, that's okay, we're not talking about the mind, but about the feeling. So stay with the feeling. When you see a child crushed by a car, you come back home, you have this huge feeling, feel it. When you see the moon, you come back home and feel it. Let this feeling unravel more and more, with an open mind, not knowing right from wrong and fair from unfair. No no, just feel.
And if you do that, actually everything is done. Life is only about abiding in the listening. In the listening there's nobody who listens, and there is nothing to listen to. When you abide in this very fact, this intensity of life, and if you do that intensely, actually there's no need for you to come to any of my meetings. Your meetings will be life, moment to moment.
The process of dependent origination is sometimes said to be the heart or the essence of all Buddhist teaching. What is described in the process is the way in which suffering can arise in our lives, and the way in which it can end.
Compassion is the ability, by Awareness, to recognize and acknowledge only itself everywhere.
The measure of resistance in electrical engineering is called the Ohm. Although this Ohm has no known relation to the common Eastern chants with the same sound, it was no doubt a coincidence
Contentment counters and overrides our constant tendency to grasp and chase after things
What am I up to when, with a couple of blindingly luminous formulations, I claim to take my stand as Awareness and to allow everything, free from resistance, effortlessly?
We look back at a selection of talks of Peter's from SAND conferences and host a discussion about his history with science and spirituality
The meaning of death and dying in a death-phobic culture and more on Sounds of SAND Episode 2
In episode 4 of our Podcast we explore the traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs of death and dying
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