September/October 1998
Volume 3, Issue 5

Healing Our Emotions

by Tulku Thondup

From “THE HEALING POWER OF MIND” by Tulku Thondup, (copyright) 1996. Reprinted by permission of Shambhala Publications, Inc., 300 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA, 02115.

1. Letting Go of the Dark Cloud of Sadness

When sadness is strong, acknowledge its presence. Greet it with open arms. Feel the sadness briefly and fully, long to embrace it and know the emotion for what it is. By feeling sadness, we can let it go.

Visualize sadness as a dark cloud in your head, heart, stomach, or wherever you feel the most pain. It could be an enormous billowing, ominous cloud. Perhaps the cloud feels heavy, as if it is weighing on you or causing pressure. Or you may feel a strange, queasy sensation. When you have concentrated on the sadness long enough to get the feeling of it, let go of the cloud. You could begin to let go by expelling it with your breath.

Let the sadness slowly billow out of your body like steam escaping from a teapot. Let it all escape. Feel the relief as you imagine it leaving. Then watch the dark cloud slowly but steadily float away, farther and farther away, drifting into the far-distant sky. Watch as it becomes smaller and smaller in the distance, like a bird flying away. Increasingly lose connection with it.

Finally, at the farthest horizon, the cloud totally disappears. Feel that you have lost any connection with the sadness. All the tension in your system has gone away, far away, and disappeared for good. Your body and mind feel light, relaxed, and free from even a trace of tension. Rest in that feeling.

Repeat this exercise a couple of times, as appropriate.

2. Illuminating the Darkness of Sadness

Visualizing light is another way to dispel sadness. If you feel that your mind is enveloped in confusion, depression, or hopelessness, with no vision of how to move or what to do, first imagine this sadness in the form of darkness. Visualize your whole body and mind as being filled with total darkness. Feel the sadness, without being overwhelmed by it. Then invoke healing light.

You could imagine the light as coming from your source of power. The light could come from within you, in front of you, or from above---wherever it feels right. See the beams of light---bright, warm, and joyful as a hundred suns---shining forth and touching you and instantly dispelling the darkness. Just as a beautiful flower blossoms with the touch of sunlight, your whole body and mind blossoms with joyful light.

The warm light fills your entire body, penetrating each and every cell, down to the atoms. You can imagine one of the cells as being an entire universe that is filled with light. The cell sparkles with light or shines with rays of colors. Or the healing light transforms the cell into some beautiful image or design.

Then imagine the light shining beyond your body, lighting the whole world. Feel the nature of the healing light---nonsubstantial, subtle, luminescent, pervasive, soft, limitless. Light is not solid, so there is nothing to grasp. Nothing can cause pressure or stress. Everything is light and immaterial.

Firmly believe that the darkness of sadness has totally disappeared for good, and a wonderful, health-giving light pervades the whole of existence. You, the world, and the light have become one. Rejoice and celebrate this. Taking short breaks, repeat this exercise again and again, finally relaxing in whatever you are feeling without the need of images.

You can extend this exercise into your daily life. When you turn on a light, or see the light of the sun or moon, see the light as pervading the darkness and bringing the power to heal.

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