Afflictive Emotions by William Menza

Here is another offering on afflictive emotions by William Menza. Bill is a lay dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He is now dealing with cancer and supposedly wrote this before he had any news about his cancer.

Kleshas are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. Kleshas include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, etc. (Wikipedia)

Afflictive Emotions (Kleshas)

ShadowLet’s say you have an afflictive emotion,
Could be fear, worry, anxiety, regret,
Anger, resentment,
Negative judging, criticizing,
Self-condemnation, or condemning others or a situation.
You know, those painful places you find yourself in.
What are you to do?
First, stop right where you are,
And say to yourself: “That’s okay.”
Keep repeating this mantra: “That’s okay.”
Accept the negative thoughts,
The emotional pain,
Because it is what is.
Next realize that it’s just a thought, a feeling.
Therefore, a fleeting passing unsubstantial condition,
“Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream.”
Then meditate on your breathing in and breathing out.
Let your breath embrace, caress, take care of you.
Then wish that you, the other person, the situation,
To be well, happy, peaceful, calm, smiling,
Healthy, safe, unharmed.
Then take a walk with full awareness of your feet
Gently touching the ground.
Notice the wonders around you,
Like your walking, your seeing, Mother Earth,
A flower, the blue sky, your breathing.
Recall some wonderful happy refreshing moments,
Like being with nature, looking at the stars,
Being with a loved one, a good friend,
Having a good cup of tea, a piece of pizza.
Do all of this for those who are not able to.

February 19, 2015
Longboat Key, Florida

There is a nice guided meditation embedded in this poem. Did you try it? What did you experience?

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