May 31, 2013


Emotional generosity, and “checking out”

A correspondent wrote

it occurs to me

this beautiful day in Hawai’i (another one)

that i have not been very emotionally generous with myself

the realisation, however, still leaves me befuddled

as to how i activate this generosity


Yes: relax more.

If I can say this (and I hope without sounding even the tiniest bit critical) this concern is a concern only of the mind. It is not real. Being worried or concerned about whether or not you are emotionally generous with yourself is purely a fascination of the mind. If you take in a deep breath, breathe out, and relax completely and check in with your body, you will find that you are being perfectly generous with yourself right now and, by extension, always—if you are present.Here is another way of considering the same “problem”. Being generous or being happy are not processes or states one has to do anything to activate. They are what what naturally and inevitably results when the various obscurations are removedOne of my teachers said that happiness (or peace) is the human’s natural state; and that the purpose of the mind is to obscure this (by creating problems of the sort you mention) in order to create suffering, so that we might be moved to work to wake up (once we become aware of this ‘unsatisfactoriness;). Spiritual work, he said, is not called ‘work’ for nothing.

My correspondent replied:

thanks, succint as alwaysyou remind me of what either I know or was already doing

“and then i frickin’ pass out or something”

My final reply:

It’s called “checking out” and it happens every minute of every day, if we watch closely enough, and sometimes it can last for hours. Be grateful it doesn’t last your whole life as it does for many.

How to relax, 101

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