Unacknowledged sorrow

Most often, opening the heart begins by opening to a lifetime’s accumulation of unacknowledged sorrow, both our personal sorrows and the universal sorrows of warfare, hunger, old age, illness, and death. Most often we feel the depth of our wounds, our abandonment, our pain, as unshed tears. The Buddhists describe this as an ocean of human tears larger than the four great oceans

As we develop a meditative attention, the grief we have carried for so long, from pains and dashed expectations and hopes, arises. We grieve for our past traumas and present fears, for all of the feelings we never dared experience consciously. Jack Engler, a Buddhist teacher and psychologist at Harvard University, has described meditation practice as primarily a practice of grieving and of letting go.
Many of us are taught that we shouldn’t be affected by grief and loss, but no one is exempt. As we heal through meditation, our hearts break open to feel fully. Powerful feelings, deep unspoken parts of ourselves, arise, and our task in meditation is first to let them move through us, then to recognize them and allow them to sing their songs

– Jack Kornfield

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