Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.
This is a must-read.
In her realistic, no-bullshit way, Susan Piver counters the idea that yogis and meditators must be happy-perky-cheesy Pollyannas all the time, and makes loving space for anger, fear, and sadness. LOVE it!
Here's a blurb, with a link to the full post to follow:
One of the very big misconceptions about meditation practice is that it will help you not to feel things too strongly—except for maybe peace, goodwill, and bliss (whatever that means). Eventually perhaps this will become true, but for most us, when strong feelings—especially strong negative feelings—are encountered, we view this as a failure of our practice. Like, if I was better at meditation, I could avoid becoming enraged when called an asshole by another driver (who was the asshole in this case, let’s face it) or the fact that my neighbor’s dog poops on my lawn every single day. I could avoid sorrow when my love is unrequited or I find that a dear friend is ill. I could avoid anxiety when I have to find a new job or have a scary appointment with the doctor.
In the sort of spiritually materialistic world we live in, we could find many suggestions for how to achieve such a state of implacability. Some of them are about avoiding dangerous situations (physical, emotional, spiritual) altogether by just staying home. Some direct you to assert yourself in the face of difficulty by taking strong action, fighting back. Some revolve around restructuring the way your mind works so that you only think the thoughts that make you happy and are thus able to “attract” good things—or, when bad things happen, you replace your sad and weary thoughts with perkier, brighter ones.Read the whole thing...
There is nothing wrong with making efforts along these lines. It is vitally important that we take precautions against danger by safeguarding ourselves on all levels. We should react boldly when it is called for. And of course we should examine our thoughts for self-sabotage and try to craft an inner environment of joy and positivity.
However. If we do so with the intention of creating a life where anger, sorrow, and fear have no place, then I’m afraid we will be quite disappointed.
Strong Emotions & Meditation Practice