There is a very beautiful Zen Buddhist monastery nearby and I attended Dharma Talk there this Sunday. The most amazing three words ever said by a human being for the betterment of a fellow being are these – “Let it flow”.
When any emotion arises, you have to simply watch it and let it flow. This is the true practice of being in the present moment. Don’t try to drag previous happy moments. Don’t try to push out all sadness and negative emotions. Just watch and “let it flow”.
The most amazing thing about this teaching is you can implement it right away, and this gives us a powerful hold and control over our emotions. It immediately lets us know what emotion is arising. As you notice the emotions, the required action is to “let it flow”. That means, you don’t become identified as a sad person, happy person or angry person. You are the energy behind the observation.
We can notice every single strong emotion and watch in awe how we are reacting. The funny thing is just because of this observation, there is no residue in the mind because emotions cannot be held when the great energy of observation is in place. So, the boat that is anchored to the shore can be let go freely and we can watch it with no particular feeling.
And what a power it gives! We realize that happiness, anger, hatred, sorrow are limited by time and it comes and goes. It does not get stagnant in our minds and consciousness. It just comes and goes and we watch it like a neutral observer.
If in any case, your emotion of anger is too intense, you have to be aware of your in-breath and out-breath. If you are in your in-breath you observe- ‘This is my in-breath just the way it is’. If you are in your out-breath, you remind yourself that ‘this is my out-breath just the way it is’.
This is real freedom. Freedom from compulsive emotions and actions. Freedom from our habit patterns. Freedom to be free. Freedom to be!
A nice poem written by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.”