feelings

A fact is like a sack - it won't stand up if it's empty. To make it stand up, first you have to put in it all the reasons and feelings that caused it in the first place.

Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truely loves does so because of a decision to love. This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present. ...Conversely, it is not only possible but necessary for a loving person to avoid acting on feelings of love.

The greatest happiness is to transform one’s feelings into actions.

When you contemplate the body by being within the body, you should not engage in all sorts of ideas about it; the same when you contemplate feelings by being within feelings, you should enter in without ideas; the same applies to contemplating the mind by being within the mind and contemplating thoughts by being within thoughts. The thoughts should be just the objects of mind and you should not apply yourself to any train of ideas connected with them. In this way, by putting ideas aside, your mind will become tranquil and fixed on one point. It will then enter into a meditation that is without discursive thought and is rapturous and joyful.

Most of the supposed expressions of our feelings merely relieve us of them by drawing them out of us in an indistinct form that does not teach us to know them.

Herein lies the likely reason for feelings. Just as negative feelings are a "here-be-dragons" sensory system that alarms you, telling you unmistakably that you are in a win-lose encounter, the feeling part of positive emotion is also sensory. Positive feeling is a neon "here-be-growth" marquee that tells you that a potential win-win encounter is at hand.

Happiness in the present moment consists of very different states from happiness about the past and about the future, and itself embraces two very distinct kinds of things: pleasures and gratifications. The pleasures are delights that have clear sensory and strong emotional components, what philosophers call "raw feels"; ecstasy, thrills, orgasm, delight, mirth, exuberance, and comfort. They are evanescent, and they involve little, if any, thinking. The gratifications are activities we very much like doing, but they are not necessarily accompanied by any raw feelings at all. Rather, the gratifications engage us fully, we become immersed and absorbed in them, and we lose self-consciousness. Enjoying a great conversation, rock climbing, reading a good book, dancing, and making a slam dunk are all examples of activities in which time stops for us, our skills match the challenge, and we are in touch with our strengths. The gratifications last longer than the pleasures, they involve quite a lot of thinking and interpretation, they do not habituate easily, and they are undergirded by our strengths and virtues.

I read of a Buddhist teacher who developed Alzheimer's. He had retired from teaching because his memory was unreliable, but he made one exception for a reunion of his former students. When he walked onto the stage, he forgot everything, even where he was and why. However, he was a skilled Buddhist and he simply began sharing his feelings with the crowd. He said, "I am anxious. I feel stupid. I feel scared and dumb. I am worried that I am wasting everyone's time. I am fearful. I am embarrassing myself." After a few minutes of this, he remembered his talk and proceeded without apology. The students were deeply moved, not only by his wise teachings, but also by how he handled his failings.

I practiced what the Dalai Lama calls 'inner disarmament.' Of course, I still had judgments, but I tried to accept even my judgments without judgment. At a glacial pace, I moved beyond repression and self-criticism to something more skillful. I discovered the difference between recoiling from feelings and opening to them. I trained myself to be more curious than fearful. Sometimes I even felt compassion for myself as I struggled.

I seek not a fellow feeling in my misery. No sympathy may I ever find. When I first sought it, it was the love of virtue, the feelings of happiness and affection with which my whole being overflowed, that I wished to be participated. But now that virtue has become to me a shadow, and that happiness and affection are turned into bitter and loathing despair, in what should I seek for sympathy? I am content to suffer alone while my sufferings shall endure; when I die, I am well satisfied that abhorrence and opprobrium should load my memory. Once my fancy was soothed with dreams of virtue, of fame, and of enjoyment. Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding. I was nourished with high thoughts of honour and devotion. But now crime has degraded me beneath the meanest animal. No guilt, no mischief, no malignity, no misery, can be found comparable to mine. When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.

It is no more natural and no less conventional to shout in anger or to kiss in love than to call a table 'a table'. Feelings and passional conduct are invented like words. Even those which like paternity seem to be part and parcel of the human make-up are in reality institutions. It is impossible to superimpose on man a lower layer of behavior which one chooses to call 'natural' followed by a manufactured cultural or spiritual world. Everything is both manufactured and natural in man as it were in the sense that there is not a word, not a form of behavior which does not owe something to purely biological being and which at the same time does not elude the simplicity of animal life and cause forms of vital behavior to deviate from their pre-ordained direction through a sort of leakage and through a genius for ambiguity which might serve to define man.

Realizing that our actions, feelings and behaviour are the result of our own images and beliefs gives us the level that psychology has always needed for changing personality.

Failure feelings – fear, anxiety, lack of self-confidence – do not spring from some heavenly oracle. They are not written in the stars. They are not holy gospel. Nor are they intimations of a set and decided fate which means that failure is decreed and decided. They originate from your own mind.

The man who cannot blush, and who has no feelings of fear, has reached the acme of impudence.

You tend to have far more real, intense friendships when you are single, perhaps because you can be more honest when you do not have the marriage or someone else's feelings to protect.

Together with war [the death penalty] was for a long time the other form of the right of the sword; it constituted the reply of the sovereign to those who attacked his will, his law, or his person... As soon as power gave itself the function of administering life, its reason for being and the logic of its exercise - and not the awakening of humanitarian feelings - made it more difficult to apply the death penalty. How could power exercise its highest prerogatives by putting people to death, when its main role was to ensure, sustain and multiply life, to put this life in order? For such a power, execution was at the same time a limit, a scandal, and a contradiction. Hence capital punishment could not be maintained except by invoking less the enormity of the crime itself than the monstrosity of the criminal, his incorrigibility, and the safeguard of society. One had the right to kill those who represented a kind of biological danger to others.

The contrast between Leonardo and Michelangelo is an allegory of the arts of modern times. Leonardo left copious notes of his observations on nature and the world around him, but little about his feelings or his inner life. Michelangelo, in his letters, his poetry, in biographies by his friends and students Vasari and Condivi, in conversations with Francisco de Hollanda and others, left us vivid revelations and eloquent chronicles of himself. Leonardo, the self-styled "disciple of experience," was a hero of the effort to re-create the world from the shapes and forms and sensations out there. But Michelangelo, prophet of the sovereign self, found mysterious resources within. These two greatest figures of Italian Renaissance art dramatized a modern movement from craftsman to artist. If Leonardo could be called the Aristotle—practical-minded organizer and surveyor of experience—Michelangelo would be the Plato, seeker after the perfect idea.

Where can we find greater structural clarity than in the wooden buildings of the old. Where else can we find such unity of material, construction and form? Here the wisdom of whole generations is stored. What feelings for material and what power of expression there is in these buildings! What warmth and beauty they have! They seem to be echoes of old songs.

When I realize everything’s equality I forget all about my close friends and my relatives It’s OK to forget the objects of your attachment.
When I realize wisdom beyond thought I forget everything included in perceiver and perceived It’s OK to forget these causes of happiness and pain.

Beyond memory, beyond feelings I forget all about experiences, the good ones and the bad It’s OK to forget them, they just go up and down.

When I know the three kayas are present naturally I forget all about the deity’s generation stage practice It’s OK to forget the Dharma made of concepts.

When I realize the result’s inside of me I forget all about the results you have to strive and strain to get It’s OK to forget the Dharma of the relative truth.

Meditating on the key instructions I forget all other explanations and their conventional terms It’s OK to forget the Dharma that makes you arrogant.

When I realize appearances are my texts I forget all about those big books with their letters in black It’s OK to forget the Dharma that’s just a heavy load.

And so, when I began to read the proffered pages, I at one moment lost the train of thought in the text and drowned it in my own feelings. In these seconds of absence and self-oblivion, centuries passed with every read but uncomprehended and unabsorbed line, and when, after a few moments, I came to and re-established contact with the text, I knew that the reader who returns from the open seas of his feelings is no longer the same reader who embarked on that sea only a short while ago.