Meditation techniques bring a deep sense of relaxation to the indivdual, but often for a beginner this time can bring up very strong memories and emotions. Rather than trying to supress these emotions and thoughts, stay with your breathing and follow these suggestions for addressing these important connections to your life story.
In mindfulness meditation practice, we are instructed to rest our attention on our breathing as a way to focus and stabilize our mind. This is an ancient and time-honored approach that clearly has relevance for those of us living in the modern world — who are often racing around, feeling stressed out, and having a hard time catching up with ourselves!
For those of us practicing in this way, several questions seem to come up over and over again — one of them is usually expressed something like this:
“I see the point of trying to develop more steadiness and ease in my state of mind. I am now able from time to time to notice myself thinking and bring my attention back to my breath, but when strong emotions come up in meditation, I do not seem to be able to let go of those so easily. They are captivating and disturbing, and are compelling me to look more deeply at their history and meaning. Should we really be using our meditation practice to shut down and stifle our emotions?”
When these difficult things come up, meditation techniques can help you accept them and integrate all your feelings together and bring deeper understanding on the issue at hand. No healthy meditation practice would suggest anyone withdraw from or supress emotions or memories that are upsetting or disturbing you, simply to imagine you are in a peaceful place.