Emotional Healing, Comparison Thinking, Feeling Emotions

“Without the removal of stress, the unwanted repetitious thinking continues to carve its own groove into our consciousness and forces us to think and behave in ways that are not relevant to the need of the time.”

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

We are always striving to attain more and more in our lives. But, every now and again, we get the impression that we haven’t done enough with our time. No amount of accomplishment is capable of bringing us fulfilment. And, it’s also not a bad thing to have a lot of achievements on your scoreboard.

But, more importantly, are we truly enjoying the process or simply trying to finish the race? Unfortunately, even after winning, we often postpone our celebrations until we reach the pinnacle of achievement.

In this Ask Me Anything session, Thom Knoles explains why it is critical to enjoy the process of achieving something and how we cannot fail when we are enjoying the process. Thom also tells how we can experience the natural expression of our emotions.

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Episode Highlights


Q – What is the Vedic Worldview of Emotional Healing?



De-Exciting the Consciousness



Making the Healing Process Rapid



Vedic Meditation is Good for Emotional Healing



Vedic Meditation Awakens Your Brain’s Power



The Removal of Stress



Q – How Should We Evaluate Our Accomplishments?



The Process is the Outcome



Baseline Happiness



The Problem of Collective Consciousness



The Best Way to Feel Emotions Without Stuffing Them



We Avoid Mood Making



Establishing Inner Awareness



Becoming Fearless



Paying Attention to the Body Sensations


Jai Guru Deva


Emotional Healing, Comparison Thinking, Feeling Emotions


[00:00:00] What are your thoughts around emotional healing through somatic and other body awareness therapies? In my experience, Vedic teachers tend to eschew or discourage other healing and self-awareness methodologies except as a form of research and not a form of practice. Particularly asking for those who may struggle with clinical mental health or deeper trauma issues where simply sitting, breathing and focusing on a mantra may make conditions worse.


[00:01:12] Yes, in Vedic Meditation, we don’t recommend sitting, breathing and focusing on mantras. That would be a wrong way of attempting to do this practice. And so my questioner must have misunderstood how Vedic Meditation is practiced

[00:01:27] Vedic Meditation doesn’t have to do with breathing or focusing on a mantra. What it has to do with is to de-excite the consciousness through the use of a mantra. Mantra actually is not something on which you focus. This is not a technique of focus-on-your-mantra meditation. This is a technique of using that pulsation of sound to cause the mind to go into a reset mode. 


[00:01:54] What is that reset mode? The least-excited consciousness state. If being in the least-excited consciousness state and getting the deep restfulness of it were practiced on a regular basis by anyone who needs any kind of healing, emotional or otherwise, then that healing would occur very, very rapidly.

[00:02:12] We can look at the opposite of this. My questioner thought that perhaps if you got into a de-excited state that that might somehow retard the healing process. Well, if that were true, we’d only have to look as a proposition at the opposite of that. Would it be that being in a highly excited state would be the answer to healing? That’s not what we know medically. That’s not what research has shown.

[00:02:38] Being in highly excited states is actually harmful to the healing process. Even if you have a common cold, if you stay very active and you don’t do things that de-excite you, if you don’t rest deeply, then your cold is not going to heal as quickly as otherwise it would.

[00:02:55] So the idea that sitting in your least-excited state for 20 minutes, twice a day could be harmful to your emotional healing is not based on any kind of research. It’s a statement that is not well-informed. 


[00:03:08] To become well-informed one should really sit and listen to the actual teaching of a qualified Vedic Meditation teacher, and I have to say that there are people who use the words Vedic Meditation, it’s not a trademark term or anything like that. People who use the term Vedic Meditation, rather loosely to describe whatever it is that they’re teaching. And then there are people who are affiliated with me and who are teachers in good standing with the way that I understand what Vedic Meditation means.

[00:03:40] So Vedic Meditation as taught by Thom Knoles is very, very good for every kind of emotional healing as anyone who’s practiced it can tell you. 

[00:03:50] Now as regards using ancillary and auxiliary techniques, there’s no harm in it, as long as you are getting to the baseline of what you are and who you are rather than just working around in the field of thought. If somebody is feeling kind of sad or emotional or they’re over traumatized by past experiences or whatever, and all they do is think other thoughts to try to counteract those thoughts that they’re having, it’s not going to be a very quick or effective method.


[00:04:19] If on the other hand, they’re having a direct experience of the unbounded bliss of pure Being for 20 minutes twice a day, and then they practice other thoughts like thought-substitution techniques, and that’s basically what all of these other techniques are, “Don’t think that thought, think this thought instead,” then those though-substitution thought techniques work when people practice Vedic Meditation as their baseline practice. 

[00:04:45] And so I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Vedic Meditation teachers eschew other methods, what they do is they prefer to say, “Let’s get to the core of this. Awaken a hundred percent of your brain’s power, awaken your brain’s full capacity, get to the least-excited state, release all of your physiological stresses, and then all these techniques of thought substitution, where instead of thinking that, you think this, they’ll work better and the mind will be able to do that.” 

[00:05:16] The problem with staying stressed and trying thought substitution is that the stress reinforces styles of thinking that you don’t wish to have.

[00:05:26] And so you might be thinking, “I feel good. I feel fantastic. I’m really this, I’m that. I’m really living life at the top end,” but then your body is not reflecting that back to you. Your body is saying, “I feel tired. I feel frightened. I feel angry. I feel sad.” 

[00:05:43] And then you say, “No, no, no. Don’t feel that. What you’re really feeling is…,” and then you go back to attempting to substitute more positive thoughts for those negative thoughts. 


[00:05:53] Without the removal of stress, the unwanted repetitious thinking just continues to carve its own groove into our consciousness and forces us to think and behave in ways that are not relevant to the need of the time.

[00:06:10] And so stress has that effect of forcing us to behave in ways that are no longer relevant to what’s needed in our life. We need to have, as our number one priority, the removal of all the stress. 

[00:06:22] If you know how to cook a great dish and you have a sauce pan that’s perfect for it, but that pot or saucepan that you’re using to create the great dish that you’re about to create, happens to still have all the detritus of a previous meal that you cooked still in it. And so, you want to use it to make some kind of delicious dessert, but there’s still last week’s baked potatoes and there’s still a bit of old rotten asparagus and a bit of pork rind in there.

[00:06:52] And you’re trying to use that pot and all you’re doing is putting new, fresh ingredients into a dirty pot and trying to cook things up. It’s going to pollute the entire process. And so teachers who teach Vedic Meditation in the way that I’ve trained them to teach will always recommend cleaning the pot out first, clean up the nervous system, clean up the consciousness. 

[00:07:15] Do that through acquiring that least-excited state for 20 minutes, twice a day, awaken the bliss inside, and then practice whatever else seems to work for you in addition to this. No harm.


[00:07:28] Hi Tom, this is Diego from Brazil. I’m curious on your thinking around comparison thinking and on believing that you haven’t accomplished enough with your time here, particularly as a meditator. Thank you. 


[00:07:44] Diego, thank you for your question. And really, I want you to return to the podcast on the subject of “The Process is the Outcome“. 

[00:07:56] In our life we very often postpone our celebration of life until we reached the, what we would call some kind of crescendo of achievement. 

[00:08:07] The idea being, and the sequence of thoughts is, “That first I think a thought, and I think about what could be done. Then I commit to action, and those actions, if they’re effective, will bring about at least an achievement. And if I repeat this process of thinking, meaning planning, and acting and achieving, I should end up with a super cluster of achievements and then I’ll be satisfied.”

[00:08:31] And the fact is, no, you won’t, because no amount of achieving things actually is capable of bringing us fulfillment. What’s lacking in your assessment is not so much the achievements, and having a lot of achievements on the scoreboard, but a more important thing that we want to have as our greatest achievement: Are we able to enjoy the process? 


[00:08:59] The process itself is an outcome, in fact, it’s ‘the’ outcome. Engaging in action, which we know to be good, positive life supporting and so on, we cannot fail because our attention is on the phenomenology of enjoyment of the process. 

[00:09:19] As a meditator, this becomes more and more possible for us because we have that baseline that we touch upon twice every day; baseline happiness, let’s call it. 

[00:09:29] I’ve used the analogy many times, so forgive me if you’re hearing it multiple times. Sitting in a hot bath, you may not feel the water hot, but if you stir the water in the hot bath, suddenly you feel the waves of heat and you think this is quite a hot bath actually. 

[00:09:44] When we have that baseline happiness, any activity in which we engage which is life-supporting activity, any life-supporting activity, will stir the underlying baseline happiness, and waves of happiness will arise as we’re engaging in that life-supporting activity. 


[00:10:03] The achievement of course is a natural desire, but even if things don’t go that particular way, the process and phenomenology of moving in the direction of that achievement itself will be highly rewarding. And so I’d like you to listen again, to that podcast on ‘The Process is the Outcome,’ where I spend almost the better part of an hour, describing all of this in great detail.

[00:10:28] And I think that it’s a very good aspiration you have, but if we are making ourselves stressed over not having achieved enough, we’re adding through our stress, we’re adding to the problem of the collective consciousness not being able to move forward. So let’s not get stressed. Let’s just relax and enjoy and do our best and keep raising our consciousness through the practice of Vedic Meditation.


[00:10:55] Hi, I’m Katy from Birmingham. I notice that when anger and sadness or fear come up, that I can usually change my perspective to one of gratitude, but the emotions are still there. So my question is, what’s the best way to feel and experience those emotions from a conscious place without stuffing them, but also without dwelling on them?


[00:11:22] It’s a very good question, Katy. One thing we don’t want to engage in, and that is a thing which we refer to as mood making. Mood making is where we are attempting to fake it till we make it. Sometimes our emotions need to find their natural outlet and expression, and we do need to feel them. 

[00:11:42] Usually there is a sensation that accompanies the emotional state, and by sensation I mean, some body sensations. What we like to do from the Vedic perspective is to take note of the sensations that are in the body, rather than trying to make a mood that somehow helps us to forestall, intellectually, the sets of sensations that we’re feeling. We like to let our attention be on the body and not to ignore the body. 


[00:12:13] After all, when we say, “I have a feeling,” and we’re talking about emotions, we also know that we have a physiological sensation, a physical sensation in the body that accompanies that feeling.

[00:12:24] “I’m in love.” That’s a feeling in the body. You can feel it. “I’m sad.” You can feel it in your body. “I’m fearful. I can feel it in my body.” “I’m angry. I can feel it in my body.” “I’m happy. I can feel it in my body.” So from the Vedic worldview perspective, we like to attend to body sensations. 

[00:12:47] And for those of you who have learned the Vedic Meditation technique from a qualified teacher, you can sit with the teacher and go into detail into this practice. It is a practice that is ancillary to the practice of Vedic Meditation itself. 

[00:13:04] The main thing though, is to continue practicing Vedic Meditation twice every day to establish our inner awareness in Being. Being is that unboundedness that cannot be broken. It cannot feel fear. It does not feel anger. It does not feel sadness.


[00:13:26] It’s an all-inclusive state whose own nature is supreme contentedness. We call that bliss, but that kind of bliss is not bliss-full, as in waves of ecstasy, it is a supreme inner quietude. And that quietude is there for a reason because when a wave settles down and goes in the direction of merging again with the ocean from which it comes, that wave spreads out and spreads out and spreads out and becomes the ocean.

[00:13:59] So the overall strategy, all tactics aside, is to continue practicing Vedic Meditation and, every day, twice a day, in a non-negotiable fashion without making any excuses. And then as we do that, as we remove the stress from the body, then more and more our capacity to meet successfully, interactively, the demands of change will grow and grow and grow, and we’ll gradually and gradually become fearless. Fearlessness is the pinnacle of human evolution. 


[00:14:34] In the meantime, if you’ve not yet had a chance to learn Vedic Meditation, please look into that as soon as possible, but you can attend to the sensations in the body. By letting our awareness go to body sensations, we are settling our awareness into what our body is asking us to do.

[00:14:51] Our body is saying pretty much, “Pay attention to me,” but our mind, our intellect, is whirling around thinking, thoughts, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, and even trying to think about how not to think is also thinking. So they just add some more furious activity to the whole process of thinking.

[00:15:08] It can be very de-excitatory simply to attend to the body sensations. And there’s a much more specific technique of doing this, which you can learn from any qualified teacher of Vedic Meditation. 

[00:15:28] Jai Guru Deva.

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