Dealing with negative thoughts

Apr 1, 2019

QUESTION Dear Ven. Robina,

Wishing you good health and may all your aspirations be quickly fulfilled!

Through the years, I have been mindful about reducing my self-importance, but I am still learning to be patient and tolerant.

Lately, feelings of aversion start to proliferate and the unpleasant feelings are quite strong when the aversion arises. There is a heavy feeling in the heart. I strive to remember the teachings on mind training, the laws of karma to prevent the aversion from becoming stronger. I keep telling myself not to dwell on negative emotions and to recall that the nature of all emotions is essentially empty.

I would appreciate if you can give some advice.

VEN ROBINA Delighted to hear from you.

I rejoice in your practice all these years.

Your approach to dealing with the negative thoughts that arise is perfect.

But another approach is to notice them, label them accurately, and then let them just be there, like some crazy roommates next door who are shouting and yelling. Let them shout; let them yell. Don’t be afraid of them. They’re just thoughts.

And another approach, that follows on from this, is to tell yourself that they’re not at the core of your being, that they don’t define you. They’re simply thoughts, old habits, that have no valid reference object. 

And, third, be so happy that you’re hearing these thoughts! If we can’t identify the problem, how can we apply the solution?

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