After a seeker has learned to identify and understand his emotions, observe them, and exercise awareness of them, he will encounter the problem of repression. He will find himself in a situation in which he can see his emotion, say, anger, but is unable to identify its root cause. Regardless of how much he struggles to become aware of the cause, he continues to run into an invisible internal wall. This is indicative of one of two things: either, as befits, a repressed desire that is prohibited from manifesting itself triggered his anger, or the accumulated repressed anger is boiling over because it can no longer be kept under control and there is no space left available within into which to force it. All three lower bodies are overstrained, and the excess energy is vented at the slightest opportunity—hence, for example, occasional anger outbursts over trivial matters. If a seeker is ignorant of this mechanism, it is likely that he will struggle to trace the roots of an emotion that he sees is emerging in himself.

Because emotional expression is the opposite of emotional repression, appropriate active practices should be performed to alleviate inner tension that has accumulated because of constant emotional control. For example, if one feels sad, simply cry. Having said that, I used to know folks who would shed tears for any reason, yet their inner state showed no signs of change; quite the opposite—they could not prevent themselves from crying. A similar tendency may be seen with anger, anxiety, and fear. The bottom line is this: Unconscious venting is likely to create an unhealthy emotional-behavioral pattern in which feelings go round in circles, like circus ponies, pushing a person back into sadness or anger over and over again. Emotion gains control and commands a person, who then becomes sadness incarnate, the unconscious channel for the energy of sadness. In contrast, when a person practices expressing his emotions diligently, in turn, he becomes in charge, as there is a gap between him and his feelings and he is not identified with them completely. He becomes a conscious channel relaying emotional energy and releases himself from it. Such an approach helps break the behavioral pattern rather than develop one.

When performed correctly, expression practices relieve tension from all three lower bodies. The internal space becomes cleared, which offers one a chance to achieve a break-through in self-awareness and open doors to within oneself.

The primary difficulty one faces when trying to adopt the practice of expressing emotions is the inability to overcome their internal confines. The mind remains vigilant and disapproves of any actions that fall outside one’s operant conditioning. Such self-criticism blocks the free flow of one’s energy. A person keeps pushing and trying, but is still unable to make his anger flow freely, which would give him the opportunity to dispose finally of the burden of unexpressed anger. The only way to overcome such internal resistance is to exercise perseverance and genuine dedication to make the expression practice work. It may take a week, sometimes a month of practicing daily, to see progress. Regardless, I have never seen it take more than a month for a seeker to break through his inner resistance. As always, it requires patience and commitment.