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The Moody Mind

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2005-11-15
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Chronicle your moods for a week. Be very perceptive and watch how your moods influence others. Do your moods have a manipulative quality to them? When you are in the midst of your mood is there any space to see other possibilities? Reflect upon your history with these moods. Think of all the ways these moods have controlled your life. Are they so familiar that you can’t see yourself living in any other way?

Make a list of your most frequent moods. Across from each mood on the list write down how that emotion seems to control your actions or attitudes. Finally, across from this second list, write down the actions that would allow more space, ease, and healing with that emotion. For example, one of your moods might be sadness. Through your sadness you may close down to others and lose your buoyancy and optimism. Exercise and engaging activity may become more difficult. Your third list might include actions that counter your second list such as exercising every day, deliberately calling a friend, or countering your pessimistic thinking with periodic reality checks. Another example might be anger. Your second list might include revenge, backbiting, gossiping, and self-righteousness. Your third list might include taking reflective time away from the situation, lovingkindness meditation, healing with effective communication, or attempting to understand the other person’s point of view.

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