A Quick Technique to Find Your Inner Calm

by childless stepparent

My teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, taught me this technique: when you’re feeling turbulent with emotions, watch your body.

If you do, you’ll see this pattern: a thought triggers a response in your body, which is when the emotion arises. It all happens very quickly, but it’s not instantaneous. Our emotional reactions always happen in this order: thought, manifestation in the body, emotion.

You can learn to interrupt this pattern. When you do, you will be firmly rooted in the present moment. Negative emotions will seem less overpowering. You can find your inner calm.

Try this: It’s simple: watch for the reaction in your body. Whatever it is – tightness in your chest, rapid heart beat, an ache in your belly – watch for it. Once you experience it, stay with it. Don’t think back to the thought that triggered it. Don’t move forward to the emotion that follows it. Simply stay with the physical experience.

Breathe. Watch. Breathe.