Thread: Understanding Our Moods

  1. #1

    Understanding Our Moods

    This is the transcript of a talk by Ajahn Sumedho :


    A few words on cittanupassana-satipatthana - mindfulness of the state of mind (the mood): with this, I've found it very helpful to ask myself and to contemplate what mood I am in, because it's easy to be living life mechanically. We can be so wrapped up in our habits and reactions that we don't fully know the mood. There was one time when somebody told me I was angry, and I denied it; actually I was angry, and I didn't even know - I couldn't admit it to myself. But it's only in admitting these things to ourselves that we can resolve them.

    The energies and emotions that we have can be frightening, even to oneself. My character is one that wants to have a nice life where everybody is smiling and saying: 'Everything's OK' - even if it isn't! Life can be lived on that level: not daring to bring up or to admit, let alone to contemplate, the way things are - because we feel so threatened or frightened, and a part of us doesn't really want to know. We don't feel we can take it; we don't know or understand ourselves in a way that allows us to deal with what we think are bad habits or personal problems.

    I think there's also a fear of insanity, or that there might be something basically wrong with us: 'Maybe there's a screw loose, or I've missed out on something when I was born' - because when we look at ourselves, we don't really understand why we are this way. Often, at least in my generation when I was young, men never admitted things - we played roles, we acted out the macho style: 'Nothing frightens me, I'm not afraid of anything.' We gave the appearance of being invincible and tough.

    In the Navy, I remember being on a ship where everybody was playing this role - but, actually, I felt very different: 'We're all saying we're tough, but I'm really scared to death. I must be the only one on the ship who feels this way - but I don't want them to know that, because I don't know what they'll do to me if they find out!' Nowadays I think people are more willing to admit to each other, and to themselves: 'I'm frightened', or, 'I do have these desires', or, 'I do feel angry,' or whatever.

    Continued at the link:

    Any thoughts about the article?

  2. #2
    Forums Member
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    Mar 2017
    Excellent article. Contemplation of the mind is an important practice, recognizing our moods and their effects for what they are, constructs of the mind.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    HI Aloka,
    Amazing!! This is just what I needed to hear this morning.

    Many thanks


  4. #4
    Forums Member DJhanaB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Kent, UK
    A. sumedho has a wonderful direct style and I always seem to hear that clear drawl of his when reading his words. He’s very good at reminding us that the answers are very nearly always right there in front of us, and this piece is a great example, thank you. (Of course that frees us to start tackling some tougher questions, but that’s the practise...)

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