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The Fourth Aggregate: Mental Formations

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2004-10-26
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



This week focus on the relationship between emotions and thoughts, two aspects of mental formations. Pick an emotion that you find difficult to experience (e.g., grief, anger, depression, fear, loneliness). Emotions often govern thoughts, and thoughts in return feed back into emotions. Pay particular attention to the thoughts spawned by the emotions. Notice how thoughts convince you your mood is an accurate depiction of the world. Ask if these thoughts are true or just perceptions of a reality colored by an emotion. The quieter and more allowing you are with your emotions, the fewer the thoughts; the fewer the thoughts, the easier it is to be with the emotion.

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