Responding versus Reacting

Through the practice of meditation, you develop what is known as “witnessing awareness” which allows you to observe your thoughts, feelings and stories with greater objectivity and distance, rather than getting pulled into the drama and emotional reactivity. As you start to witness your mental activity, without attempting to resist or change it, there is a spontaneous pause in your inner turmoil. Over time, you will begin to notice that some space has been created around difficult emotional states. You will start to see that there is more to who you are than your moods or thoughts, and you may also observe that the sensation associated with the negative feelings dissolve altogether. I like to say that you begin to develop that sense of responding as opposed to reacting.

Meditation is the very foundation of all that I teach at Satsang House. Once you settle in to a practice of daily meditation, it’s liberating to know that you don’t have to repress what you feel in order to feel inner peace! In fact, repressing emotions never leads to emotional well-being but only adds to the accumulation of emotional toxicity in the body. Of course, it’s not necessary to confront old feelings and repressed emotions if you are not ready to do so. This is where you get to choose your response to whatever you’re experiencing in meditation. Just be aware that the more stillness you create and the peace that comes by doing so, will also make room for old emotions to surface and it’s likely that they will. By not repressing or fixating on emotions, they move through and out of the body. A regular meditation practice allows you to spend more and more time in the silence and peace of pure awareness. As this sense of spaciousness expands in your daily life, it becomes easy to let go of old patterns of thinking and feeling that create stress.