The Master of the Carriage, Part 3 - Emotions

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The Master of the Carriage, Part 3 - Emotions

Postby Rumpelteazer » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:22 pm

Cheltenham Group Meeting 31/5/2012

This week we watched Part 3 of the film “The Master of the Carriage”.

Our paper focussed on the main theme of Emotions:
20120531 The Master of the Carriage - Part 3.doc
(44 KiB) Downloaded 211 times

We started with Mr Ouspensky’s interpretation of the metaphor. Questions and comments included:
  • "Why are we in this position of having a carriage that’s falling apart and a disobedient horse? Surely we weren’t born like that?"
  • "Perhaps it’s all to do with habit. If you don’t look after the carriage and all the equipment, and keep putting it away wet and muddy after use then it’s hardly surprising."
  • "When I learnt to ride I was told that when you get home you must always look after your horse before yourself. Give it a rest in a nice comfortable place, with food and water." [The implication being that after a day’s work we need rest from meditation, and good spiritual food.]
  • "It’s easy to see how the Mind (Driver) wants to change, but the body and feelings don’t. How many New Year’s Resolutions, or decisions made during the rest of the year, have come to nothing?"
  • "I get a quite different feeling when a decision is the right one and I do the right thing. It’s all to do with Buddhi."
  • "For me it’s not really about any making decisions at all. If I can just be quiet and let things happen then the right thing happens without any decision being made because it all happens before it reaches the conscious mind. That too is a lovely feeling."
  • “Many years ago when I first came to these meetings I used to be very keen, but somehow the desire dropped off. I’ve become quite lazy because it all seems pointless. Material possessions don’t make you happy.” It was suggested that imagining that this is the last moment of your life can help you to focus on what is really important.
The Memory Stone in the film seemed to symbolise meditation. One person said he sat down and repeated the mantra as instructed but wasn’t sure it was ‘proper meditation’. We then discussed methods of dealing with turning thoughts so that one can sink deeper to reach the absolute stillness. Saving energy during the day is also important – working with attention, coming to stillness between activities and above all dealing appropriately with negative emotions, as suggested in the paper. This work helps meditation and meditation helps with this work – the two complement each other.

One person has problems with negative emotions because his wife who has serious medical problems tends to get very negative about it and this rubs off on him. He has tried to teach her about not expressing negativity, but it has had no effect. It was suggested that instead of trying to teach her, he should simply be with her quietly in a spirit of love and compassion. Another group member who also has a relative who is very ill said that she had come to realise that this is the only approach that is helpful. We think we should rush around trying to find something to do that would help, but that is not the answer. What is needed is love and stillness.

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Re: The Master of the Carriage, Part 3 - Emotions

Postby Rumpelteazer » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:35 pm

At the next meeting we discussed people’s experiences of the two exercises set last time.
1. Dealing with negative emotions:
When a negative emotion arises, try Thich Nhat Hanh's method of dealing with it. Here is a brief summary:
i. Observe the negative feeling, without rejecting it.
ii. Become one with it, holding it together with the opposite aspect of yourself - your aim, your love for Param-Atman.
iii. Calm it as a mother calms a child, through stillness and love.
iv. Allow it to disappear.
v. Examine the causes.

Some found the idea of ‘loving’ the negative emotion rather difficult. But Thich Nhat Hhan didn’t actually say that. He said ‘calm it’, and do that in a spirit of love, rather than fighting it. The last step is supposed to be left until after the negative emotion has completely disappeared. One person said he didn’t find five steps necessary – it was just necessary to remember that whatever happens it is Param-Atman giving us what we need. Another said he just recognised it as a negative emotion and allowed it to fly away. But a third person found it to be a useful technique, provided one remembered in time. We discussed the importance of dealing with negative emotions quickly before they have a chance to set up a reverberating circuit in the brain.

2. Dealing with luggage.
Each time you sit down to meditate, before you start, make a firm decision to let go of all your luggage and leave it outside the door. Strengthen this resolution by a memory of the lightness and happiness that arises when you come out of 'proper meditation'. Then start the mantra with a feeling of love and reverence.

The group agreed that we need to prepare ourselves properly for meditation. One person said he always remembered that he was going to meet Param-Atman. Then when thoughts come in he can just let them pass.

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