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‘ME’ Meditation helps me understand moods and emotions

I call this Moods and Emotions Meditation… ME Meditation

There are times when putting a name to what you are feeling can be difficult. Clarifying moods and emotions is a simple technique, it is a meditation, by which you will be able to effectively recognize what emotion you are feeling.

The ME Meditation technique will help you notice the body sensations associated with the moods and emotion and thus, develop a familiarity with your emotional state.

Step-by-step guide to help you identifying your moods and emotions:

1. Settle into a comfortable meditation procedure.

2. Breathe normally, and bring your attention to your emotions. Try to notice, even if faintly, if you are feeling anything.

3. Once you detect an emotion, try to label it. Some of the possibilities could be: joy, anger, fear, sadness, love, shame, embarrassment, pride, guilt etc.

4. If you are not able to clearly identify an emotion, it is OK to guess and label it accordingly. Stay basic and simple with the labeling.

5. The emotion that you are feeling, keep labeling it every 5 seconds or so. So, if you are feeling happiness, you would label it thus “happiness… happiness… happiness”. With each label, you feel the sensation of “happiness” in your body.

6. There may be times when you feel more than one emotion. You may either focus on just one emotion or stack the labels. For instance, if you are feeling both sadness and guilt, you may label them as “sadness and guilt”.

7. You may continue labeling the emotions for as long as you want.

8. In the Vipassana meditation practice of Buddhism, meditating on emotions is an age-old technique. The technique mentioned above is a simplified version of a practice by American Buddhist teacher Shinzen Young.

The purpose of ME meditation is not to get labels, but to get a hold on emotions that you are feeling. You can only address what you know…

The 9 moods and the resultant emotions

Natya Shastra, the ancient Indian dance text, describes the nine moods or the Nav rasas, which form the basis of all human emotions. They are:

  • Shringara/ Love
  • Hasya/ Joy
  • Adbhuta/ Wonder
  • Shanta/ Peace
  • Raudra/ Anger
  • Veera/ Courage
  • Karuna/ Sadness
  • Bhayanaka/ Fear
  • Vibhatsa/ Disgust

Anxiety and terror may have two distinctly different meanings in the English language. But for this exercise, they both are simply labeled as fear.

Are moods and emotions good or bad?

Though moods and emotions are broadly categorized as ‘good and bad’, we require all of them in the right proportion for a fruitful life. An absence of fear can make us take harmful decisions. Similarly, lack of courage can lead to blind acceptance of fate.

How to overcome Moods and Emotions?

Identifying and isolating the cause is the first step in mood and emotions management. You cannot always wish them away.

Meditation, here, does not imply you sit on a yoga mat and chant your evening away. Awareness and acceptance of different moods and emotions, being mindful of them, can put you on a path of  moods and emotions management.

Please try the following simple methods to reduce the magnitude of moods and fluctuating emotions. Read on…Natural remedies for mood swings

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