Now, tomorrow, and always I shall place the God of meditation-born peace on the altars of my silence, of my activities, of my emotions, and of all my spiritual perceptions. —Paramhansa Yogananda
Yogananda called even-mindedness the most important condition for happiness.
In 2020, I wrote an article called: Meditation: The Key to Even-Mindedness, where the emphasis was on meditation to cultivate even-mindedness. In this article, I will focus on calming the emotions to help cultivate even-mindedness.
We experience emotions in the heart, as the heart is the center of our feeling nature. Emotions are agitated feelings that prevent us from experiencing our true selves and perceiving reality as it is.
The first step towards harmonizing our emotions is to calm the energy of the heart and bring it inward, into our center in the spine.
How We Deal with Emotional Energy
We can use the analogy of a tree with its trunk, branches, and leaves. When we are calm and centered, we are in the trunk of the tree which symbolizes the spine of energy.
When the energy becomes emotional, it goes out from the trunk into the branches and the leaves.
Only when our energy is centered in the trunk are we able to see reality clearly, since everything stems from the one trunk.
The farther away we get from the trunk, out into the branches and the leaves, the more everything seems very complex and we lose sight of the trunk, and become ungrounded and confused.
To harmonize the emotions, we need to draw the emotional energy inward and get centered in ourselves. Both positive and negative emotions take us out of our center. We want to be willing to accept things as they really are, not as emotions would color them.
We don’t want to keep riding the roller coaster of emotions. We seek to neutralize the constant fluctuation of emotions, the ups, and the downs, and live in a state of being even-minded and cheerful at all times.
We know it’s not easy. It’s a lifelong process, but we can begin to make progress by living more in our center, in the spine. We can’t change the way other people will treat us. Instead, we can treat ourselves differently. We can learn to transmute our emotions.
When you experience an emotion, go inside into your center, and raise your energy to the spiritual eye, the point between the eyebrows.
By doing so, you are not only neutralizing the emotion—but you use its energy to deepen your divine connection. Therefore, harmonizing emotions means getting centered within yourself and raising the energy.
A Research Study on Anger
Years ago, a research study explored the difference between suppression, expression, and transmutation of anger.
1,000 women with anger issues volunteered to participate in the research. They were divided into three groups. One group was instructed to suppress their anger every time they felt it.
The second group was instructed to express their anger every time they felt it, and not hold back at all.
The third group was instructed to do something else with their anger. Meaning that every time they got angry, they were to express that energy in some non-harmful way. Perhaps practice some deep breathing or go for a brisk walk. Whatever felt right to them.
After one year, the three groups were evaluated. The research found that the group of those who suppressed their anger became ill more often than the other groups.
The second group that expressed anger without control, became angrier, more easily, and more often. Only the third group, who transmuted their anger and expressed it in a beneficial way, were able to manage their emotions and get less angry.
A person needs to be open and receptive to change, to be able to release negative emotions and be willing to put out the energy required for making positive changes. Fear, anger, guilt, resentment, and judgment, are barriers that prevent us from being happy, and seeing reality as it is.
A Simple Technique to Cultivate Even-Mindedness
The most effective tool for working with emotions is from the inside out — working directly with the energy in the spine.
When we want to develop emotional detachment, it is helpful to concentrate on the energy in the spine, and to equalize there the upward and downward flows of energy.
We can become conscious of the connection between our reactive emotions, both positive and negative, and the corresponding upward and downward flows of energy in the spine. This practice of centeredness in the spine will minimize the preoccupation with negative emotions.
Swami Kriyananda gave a very simple and powerful technique to help cultivate even-mindedness. I have used it during challenges and found it to be very effective and helpful.
In this technique, we focus on the simple movement of energy in the spine. We use the breath to equalize the inhalation and exhalation, the upward and downward flows of energy in the spine.
Please join me as I guide you through the techniques in this video.