Goodbye, Thoughts

Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek

When negative emotions are strong they tend to overpower you; you could never take suggestions, never be able to apply an antidote. You need time and space. First, find out if you’re willing to see whether your anger is valid or not valid. If you are not willing to see that, then take a break. Walk outside. Got to a nice place when there’s a beautiful view. Divert your attention through something neutral, like nature. In Tibet, many of my teachers liked to go up on a high mountain overlooking the valley, the river, and the mountains. They let their disturbing thoughts fly away—if they had them at all—and took in the fresh air. Certain traditions even recommend that you watch the sunset from a slightly high vantage point, stand lightly, bouncing gently on your toes. Breathe out gently three, nine, or twenty-one times, using breath as a vehicle to carry your thoughts away. Let your heavy thoughts go with the setting sun and bid them goodbye.

- Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek, from “The Real Enemy,” Tricycle, Winter 2001

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