Today I was thinking back to when I had my first Zen experience. It was long before I knew anything about Zen or Buddhism. I was in my mid-twenties my girlfriend dumped me because she banging Steven Tyler, of all people. I was crushed and in some adolescent way I way I made things out to be much worse than they really were. My life was over. I wanted die. I was going to suffer for eternity blah blah blah… T Until one day I hanging out with my friend Ted spewing all of this emotional crud and he said to me “immerse yourself in the pain, let it wash over you, just feel it completely” I was shocked because everyone else was trying to keep me distracted from what I was feeling. That night I went home sat down ready for battle with this T-Rex sized emotion, I was prepared to be swallowed and torn apart by emotional pain. I took a deep breath opened myself up as much as could and there it was. That T-Rex was just a nagging flea of insecurity. It was not even close to what I expected. As soon as I honed in on that realization I was cool. I was even a bit annoyed with myself for allowing my emotions to get so out of hand.
Now every time I hear a Dharma talk about staying in the moment and experiencing emotions to their fullest I think back to that situation. I know now that those huge over powering emotions turn out to be nothing more than some nagging little thing, which snow balls.
I will admit even though I am armed with this knowledge a lot of time my emotions seem to grow out of control no matter how hard I try to open myself up to them. It is the ‘trying” that seems to get in the way. The trick is do this without effort, simply stay with moment as it is, that is all then let it go and allow the next moment to arise.