Changing the Machinery of Upset
Let’s consider ways to cultivate more peace of mind – and even its consummation in profound equanimity – by working with the eight gears of the machine of suffering we explored in Part Two. (There are other methods, too, that are more specifically Buddhist, and you might like to explore the Access to Insight website for more information.)
This list is by no means exclusive; it just points to how many great tools are available these days for managing our emotional reactions.
Methods for Appraisals
- Stay mindful of the whole.
- Be mindful of the meanings, the framings, we give things.
- Challenge the significance the mind gives something. Is it really an “eight” on the ten-point “Ugh” scale? If it’s really a two, why is my anger an eight?
- Challenge the intentions we attribute to others; realize we are usually a player in their drama.
- What beliefs are implicit about others, the world? Try cognitive therapy methods for challenging inaccurate, negative beliefs.
Methods for Self-Referencing
- Recognize the suffering that comes from selfing.
- Practice mindfulness of the sense of “I.”
- What are the implicit representations of self: Strong? Weak? Mistreated? How does this underlying framing affect your experience of situations?