From: What to Do about Christmas?
Ken: Now I want to move onto the second of the three marks which is suffering or a different way of looking at, slightly different way of looking at it, is trying to get our emotional needs met.
Now, we’ve just done this exercise with regret and accomplishment or feeling good about ourselves and these feelings operate in absolutely everybody and they may be slightly different in terms of flavor and emphasis and so forth but they aren’t different. Everybody has the same kinds of feelings. Can you control this? Can you control what feelings arise inside in you?
Ken: No, you can’t control it. How much effort do you put in to trying to control it? A lot. I don’t want to feel this way. Well that’s a sure indication that you are feeling this way.
There are many, many techniques in Buddhist practice for working with emotions, but what’s very, very important to understand is that none of them are really about trying to control what you feel. Many of them are presented that way, mistakenly in my opinion. Many people interpret them that the idea is, what you should be trying to do is control what you feel.Note: Ken also talks about the three marks of existence in many other podcasts including:
For instance when we get into the four immeasurables, people think, “I meant to be feeling this, I meant to be feeling that.” But that’s not how it works. By experiencing your own emotions completely then they cease to weigh you down. Actually, it’s a way of getting rid of the baggage, if you wish.