The Feeling of a Friend

I recently lost a parent.

And had my first experience of friends reaching out to offer love and support.

I discovered that receiving friends’ messages, cards, and calls helped by buoying my sense of my connection with and gratitude for those friends.

Then this week I read about Ross Buck’s 3-part explanation of emotions. (In Chapter 3 of When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté).

Emotion III is the subjective experience of emotion. How we feel. Conscious awareness of an emotional state and its accompanying bodily sensations.

Emotion II is emotional displays seen by others (with our without our awareness). Non-verbal signals, mannerisms, tone of voice, gestures, posture, facial expressions.

Buck notes that our expression of emotion are what most affect other people, regardless of our intentions.

Emotion I is the physiological changes triggered by emotional stimuli. These are not under our control and cannot be directly observed from the outside. They just happen.

Life presented me with the title of this week’s meditation: The feeling of a friend. And then I got to design an experience to facilitate participants’ exploration of these ideas.

If you decide to do the meditation, I am always interested in hearing about your experience and your suggestions.