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Don’t Believe Your Feelings
Anna: Dear James, I just want to say thank you for the lectures on Panchadasi at Yoga Vidya Bad Meinberg. I couldn’t come to all lectures, but it was enough to get me totally absorbed in Vedanta. I had not expected this.
Last year in November my boyfriend and I decided to finish our seven-year-long relationship. I guess it was the right decision, but I was still very sad and had difficulties accepting it. So I thought that maybe your lectures could help me a bit. In fact they made a big difference.
Sometimes your words were so to the point that tears came up because I felt very clearly they were the truth. I saw how I create all my suffering by myself.
I remember that you said, “You are free and limitless.” And one woman replied, “But I don’t feel free.” You answered, “But why do you believe your feelings?”
And suddenly something in my head changed; there was like a shift in my mind. I understood that I am free, even I don’t feel free sometimes. But I know that I am free.
Since the seminar, I keep these words in my mind and heart. I am reading your book… fortunately it is in German… and I listen/watch to you a lot at YouTube. I will go on with the suggested beginner’s course from your website to get a profound understanding.
After several years of seeking, always this trying to fulfill myself with something outside, it’s like coming home, and it took a lot of the pressure away.
I try to keep everything present in my daily life and also try to meditate on the free self, awareness, every evening.
So again, thank you very much for giving this knowledge to me. All the best to you!
James: Hi, Anna.
I am so happy that Vedanta found you! You will feel your freedom more and more as you apply yourself to the teachings of Vedanta. Never believe your feelings without first investigating them to see if they are true. Certain feelings come directly from your higher nature and some come from your lower nature, the “part” of you that feels incomplete. A friend who was a lifetime smoker quit smoking when he discovered self-inquiry. I asked him how Vedanta solved that problem, and he said that one day when he “felt” like smoking he asked if it was true that he wanted a cigarette. And just that simple question caused him to realize that the cigarette was hiding a deeper problem – a security issue. And his mind went to the deeper issue, and from that point on he didn’t “feel” like smoking. It is excellent that you have understood the value of Vedanta and that you practice it every day. Keep your life simple, watch the videos and read the book carefully. When you get to the end, start over again. When you think you want a relationship, investigate the feeling. See if you really want one or if the relationship idea isn’t a mask, covering your desire for freedom and self-love. I suggest that you also read my most recent book The Yoga of Love. It is available at ShiningWorld as a download and as a paperback.
~ Much love, James
Anna: Dear James, thank you very much for your answer. I really appreciate those personal words and the possibility to write you if I have questions.
The one thing I struggle with is remembering that I am whole and complete while these moments, my thoughts and feelings, are so intense, especially the ones about the finished relationship. It’s a powerful mixture of grief, anger and sadness that is overflowing in me like a wave. ☺ But sometimes I am able to go back to the position of the observer and it prevents me from doing a wrong unhealthy reaction again. I still feel the pain then, but it’s at least a break from this automatic reaction cycle.
To take life as it comes is not easy for me. Deep inside me I know that’s the only way to live a free and peaceful life, to flow through life like water, as described in the Tao Te Ching (which I like very much). But I always learned that I am the doer and that it’s all up to me to create a successful life with enormous effort. Now I am asking myself what it really means to me to live a successful life. ☺
Dear James, I wish all the best for you and your wife. I hope my thoughts are not too boring… I think many people write the same to you again and again because human problems are always the same. ☺
James: Appreciation is always appreciated, Anna. No, your story is not boring, even though I have heard it thousands of times. For me life is fresh every moment. I don’t carry thoughts forward, because I am not a doer. There is no past for me. In fact I forgot that I already replied to your first email and I wrote it again!