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The Melancholy Mind

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2002-02-25
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Notice whether you define yourself more by what you do not do then by what you do. “I wasn’t able to have a child…I wasn’t able to be an artist.” That is, are you continually lamenting your missed relationships, careers, and opportunities, or do you appreciate the life you are living for itself? Aliveness is constrained by regret. Regret keeps it focused on what could have been instead of what is. It needs your appreciation of the here and now in order to fully express itself. Watch any tendency to downgrade your immediate experience as secondary because it is not how you wanted it to be.

Notice how you relate to your troubling moods. Do you feel they need resolution? Do your moods insinuate something about you that need further work and exploration? Do you think by exploring them further you can reach a conclusion about who you are? Is this investigation based on a subtle attempt to avoid the emotion? Watch any attempt this week to form a conclusion about yourself through your emotions. Hold yourself to the task at hand, which is to feel them completely without conclusions.

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