Recently we hosted a round table we dubbed Unusual Conversations with Dana Gornall, Co-founder of The Tattooed Buddha and Duane Toops, A Zen vlogger and podcaster. It is a segment we will be bringing to you all more often. The idea being to get solid minds together talking about heavy concepts in a way more like normal people. Without the fluff and posturing found in normal offerings in the vein. Below is the whole episode. The theme for this episode is Emotions as Related to Ego. Here I’m going to highlight some solid points that came up
I wanted to write about a couple of very valuable points I wanted to further unpack here. One great point that Duane Toops brought up was at the 9:17 mark. He said “When we speak of our emotions we dont say, I am feeling angry or I am feeling sad. We’ve already equated our ego or self to our emotion” Just in the sheer limitation of either thinking or language we equate an experience with our ‘self’. That statement is so incredibly true. I’m sure we all say or hear those statements and think no further on the matter. We link together two things that are not inherently or even necessarily connected.
In my opinion the two, ego and emotions, have become so intertwined with the self they are hard to find the separateness of the two. If you are like me and have read into the Buddhist concept of Anatta or no-self you are well aware that Buddhism doesn’t recognize the self as a separate, monolithic entity. The idea that “emotions as the self” are so ingrained on an innate level that the thought of splitting the two almost becomes like taking the hand out of the puppet. The concept is amazing in the simplicity and the near impossibility of that task
At the 25:35 mark I brought up a point I really feel all the way in the bottom of my no-self. Emotions exist in us all, regardless of the comparison game. We all know sadness, pain, and, anger knowing those sensations and sharing emotional experience can be, in my opinion, the single greatest tool to enhance and deepen your sense of empathy. Knowing pain myself, I am better equipped to put myself in your place and identify with your life and struggles. Obviously individual results may vary ask your ‘self’ if empathy is right for you. Ha
For Dana Gornall’s work check out thetattooedbuddha.com
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