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Showing posts from April 11, 2014

Cracking Open the Sugar-Coated Self

Human beings are pack animals and not meant to live in isolation. We associate for security; our ability to bond with others is essential to our very survival. While on one level this is achieved through conscious communication through language (the realm of the brain's left hemisphere), we also achieve this through unconscious signals known as emotions (the domain of the right hemisphere). Just behind the field of awareness we're constantly sending and receiving messages about our state of being through tone of voice, locking glances, facial expressions, body language, posture and movements. How well our emotions are received help us regulate our emotional states; also, early interpersonal attempts at bonding, with caretakers, set our expectations as to how deeply and reliably others will connect with us.

In the buddha's teachings, becoming, or bhāva in the original pali, marks the establishment of an identity we believe will spare us from the inevitable discomforts of li…