Reader comment on Sally Kempton's passage ...

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    On Jul 28, 2013 david doane wrote:

    I very much believe that our emotions can be used for our liberation.  I've also found that using my emotions in the service of my liberation is tricky.  The impression I got from the author's story is that the guru was manufacturing feelings and performing, using his feelings manipulatively to try to teach a lesson, and I have a resistance to all that.  I think using emotions in the service of my liberation begins with acknowledging my emotions, having them without being had by them, listening to and consulting them, and using them without being used by them.  It does involve a detachment from my emotions.  Someone said thinking makes a valuable servant and a terrible master.  I think the same is true of emotions -- that my emotions are a valuable part of me and make a valuable servant if I'm not consumed, captured, mastered by them.  As the author says, it's important to hold and contain our feelings, see into their essence, and not be contained or swamped by them.  Another important step in using my feelings in the service of my liberation is to state them honestly because they are there, with me in control of them, not them in control of me, and not use them in any manipulative way.  A personal example is times that I can acknowledge a feeling of anger, state it without acting it out, and thus use it in expressing myself rather than being consumed by it.  I'm not very good at that, and have a lot to learn in that area. 

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