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Mindful : June 2014
June 2014 mindful 59 Ah, where would great literature be without jealousy? Many of Shakespeare’s plays turn on jealous motives, and librar y-loads of novels mine the hear ts of jealous lovers and envious climbers. In the mind of jealousy, we are caught up in comparing, and in one sense we loom large and others fade into the background. Yet, in another sense, we see ourselves as small and what others have as big. We push and we pull. Feelings of jealousy can be mixed up with love (the clingy par t), and anger, the feeling of wanting to push another away, to hur t them or lessen them. At first glance, there would seem to be nothing of value within jealousy and env y. It just seems like a big bundle of I...me...mine. But curiously, if we can let go of the self-involved par t—the dark side—on the bright side of jealous feelings can be a quality of admiration that could lead to sympathetic joy (feeling good at others good for tune and well-being) and emu- lation (wanting to cultivate the same good qualities of another or follow in their footsteps). Jealousy and env y stripped of their aggressiveness can become a drive to go beyond oneself. The sense of inadequacy becomes simply a phase to pass through. All the energy we put into comparing and contrasting, finding the other better and ourselves wanting, can be channelled into reaching beyond ourselves. Practice LETTING GO A way to practice with jealousy and env y (and also greed, which is closely related) is to do a reflective meditation on a highly desirable object that you will never theless never possess. FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL and desirable—in a store, a store window, or in a museum. Sit or stand and ADMIRE the object for five minutes or more. Let the feelings of desire increase. Feel the longing to grasp and possess it. Now, simply let those feel- ings go. Abruptly let go! EMBRACE the object for what it is, brilliant, without needing to be possessed or protected by you. ● Wanting what others have. Protecting what we have from others’ grasp. These feelings are not fun. But on closer examination, we can see an underlying drive to aspire and emulate. Jealousy Stay tuned! In Getting Started #3 learn various approaches to walking meditation and mindful movement... See our August 2014 issue.