Dear Dr Trinh,
I'm plagued by conflicting emotions that I can't manage. Jealousy towards my husband and my colleagues is one of those that comes back to torment me daily.
Could you tell me how to end it and if books could enlighten me on this subject? I am not a regular practitioner, but I would like to move forward on this path.
Doctor Dinh Hy Trinh: Dear Celine,
If you are aware of your feeling of jealousy which often comes back to you and which undermines you, you are already on the right path.
The most important thing in the Buddhist way is to be lucid, fully aware of what is going on in the head. When a negative emotion, such as hatred, anger, jealousy invades you, instead of letting yourself be carried away by it, stop for a moment (by taking a deep breath, as Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh would advise), to observe you as someone from the outside, and asking yourself the question: Why am I angry, or jealous, or hateful? Is what I imagine in my head true, or just assumptions, illusions? If it's just imagination, then it's not true, I have to stop, come back to the reality that I live in the present, here and now...
The solution is not in the books, Céline, it is in yourself. The practice is found in the very moments when you look straight into your negative emotions and clear your illusions yourself. Good luck with this workout!