Question: How do we feel or acknowledge a negative state without giving ourselves over to it? When it is present, how can we not be affected by it?
Answer: There’s an old Chinese saying, “The birds of sadness may fly over your head, but they don’t have to build a nest there.” Our spiritual task, when affected by negative states, is to be aware of their effects and not allow them to continue their ruinous resonance within us. The pain in any negative state is never in its entrance through us, but in our resistance to it or embrace of it wherein we are then identified with the state. Then the same self that identifies becomes divided and tries to hate the very hatred it’s embraced. You must see this, and you will if you’ll do the work.