How to meditate with strong emotions

A student writes:

“My long term relationship recently ended so my head is full of strong emotions all the time. Any hints or suggestions on how to meditate more successfully with this would be very much appreciated.”

Lama Shenpen:

In general I think that when we are feeling very emotional it is important to be gentle with ourselves and trust our underlying sanity.

When it is time to sit in meditation, don’t have some huge project or demand – just sit in order to sit and just be.

We can let the thoughts and emotions churn and move us but just continue to sit and notice what happens – very open ended and free – what is going to happen?

What is happening? What happens when you let the thoughts go again and again, what happens when you turn towards the same feelings again and again?

What happens when you open to them and allow whatever is happening to happen without worrying, without panicking, without buying into the belief that ‘it should not be like this’?

What happens when you just don’t let yourself mind too much what happens?

What happens? Maybe what happens is meditation. Maybe that is what meditation is.

Lama Shenpen Hookham

Lama Shenpen’s students have joined the The Living the Awakened Heart Training – a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at