Becoming Your Own Therapist and Make Your Mind an Ocean by Lama Yeshe.
The big take-away from these books (combined edition 2003) is that most of us fret over the waves of our emotions, yet the true nature of self is an ocean. Yeshe counsels us to dive beneath the waves by becoming our own therapist. Study your thoughts to understand the underlying reasons for those feelings of anxiety, fear, anger. He uses this phrase: “Check yourself” as an analytical, diagnostic process for becoming more aware of how your mind works.
Examine these questions:
Why are you here?
To be well liked?
To become famous?
To accumulate possessions?
To be attractive to others?
Ask why are you feeling a particular emotion. Diving beneath the waves and discovering the underlying reasons for our behavior, emotions and thoughts is how our mind becomes the ocean.
A word (or two) about anger
Yeshe has some interesting words to share about anger. “Anger comes from attachment to sense pleasure. Check yourself. This is a wonderful psychology, but can be difficult to understand. When someone touches something to which you are very attached, you freak out. Attachment is the source of anger.”
Many Western people feel they need to express their anger to “get it out.” Lama Yeshe says no. “Expressing anger only creates a pathway for more anger. Don’t suppress anger either. Learn to investigate the deeper nature of anger, aggression, anxiety or whatever troubles you. Try to understand why you get angry, what causes it and how it arises.”
I would recommend this book and other psychological practices of self exploration to anybody wanting to discover the core reasons for their reactions. Explore the deeper nature within. Make your mind an ocean.
Ann Christensen’s book, Bipolar Almanac: Create a life worth living is the first in a series of books that explore bipolar disorder. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for over 30 years and uses this “check yourself” process to observe and explore the underlying source or her mood swings. www.sleepyphoenix.com