March 2022 - Living a Life of Presence
Why Do We Love to Feel Bad?
In this pointed teaching session, Eckhart considers a commonly experienced question: Why does feeling bad sometimes feel good?
Have you ever found yourself putting on sad music and staring wistfully into the rain? Or perhaps imagined having an argument with a loved one, relishing a sense of righteous anger? Indulging these moments is far more common than you think.
Each month we highlight a practice from the Eckhart Tolle Now archive that we integrate into our routines and work on together as a community.
We will be offering the opportunity to connect with fellow members LIVE in our Community Meditation & Monthly Practice Zoom sessions. These will be hosted monthly and are available to all Eckhart Tolle Now members on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 am PT | 1 pm ET and also at 2 pm PT | 5 pm ET.
Even though negative thoughts and emotions are inherently unpleasant to experience, they’re also strangely addictive. This, of course, is a product of our egos. According to Eckhart, our egoic mind actually craves states such as sadness, rage, and contempt in order to strengthen its hold on our awareness.
So, how do we break the hold of these addictive states? The first step is to recognize them as they arise, which can be tougher than it sounds. Then try the following steps:
- What are the most common emotions that hook you in?
- When you get hooked, what do you notice in your body?
- Look for whether there’s a sense of longing or pleasure riding alongside your negative thoughts. How would you describe these reactions?
- Is there a story that goes along with these emotions? If so, what need are you trying to fulfill by attaching yourself to it?
If possible, try to detach from the narrative around your emotions. Feel them fully, but don’t judge or discount them. If you can, observe neutrally as the emotion arises, passes, and eventually dissolves.
This certainly isn’t easy! After all, strong emotions—both pleasant and unpleasant—can seem like they fill up the entirety of your awareness. However, with repetition and your favorite Presence practices, you can absolutely tell when negative thoughts arise and head them off before they hijack you entirely.
Do you have a go-to method of noticing strong emotions as they appear?