For years we’ve heard humanity is in the midst of a spiritual cosmic shift—-Hello 2020!  Only 6 months into the year 2020 and the shift has turned into a cultural revolution.  Old ways have been shut down completely.   New and unfamiliar ways of living, working and socializing have been forced upon us.  While the unrest— due to police brutality is long overdue, perhaps all this turbulence gives way too ideal timing—for spiritual evolution. We all could use some short-cuts to Buddhahood.  This is not the time for conventional wisdom or just positive thinking, it’s time for deep profound wisdom to be revealed for everyone to digest.   Uncomplicated straightforward wisdoms, that cut through the usual jargon of the day. Perhaps this is the transformation we’ve all been anticipating, jolting us like an earthquake, leaving us with a clear perspective of our internal and external existence.  Here’s a twist, unlike harmonic times, we’re all in a unique position that gives us opportunity to be pulled into the next era. This is the objective to a series called ‘A Short-cut to Buddhahood,’ through the simplicity of ancient spiritual knowledge, our spirits are awakened to truth.  One of the fundamental principles of both Zen and Tibetan Buddhism is to “let go of attachments.” What are attachments? At its core “attachments” are—our thoughts. But not all thoughts are disruptive or negative. So digging deeper “attachments” that are disruptive—are dwelling emotions. For example desire, greed, anger, resentment, anxiousness, sadness and what we perceive to be happiness, etc.—are emotions that most often lead to dwelling thoughts, which are considered attachments in Buddhism. Simply put, in both Tibetan and Zen Buddhism emotions stem from thoughts, whereas feelings originate from the heart, soul, and spirit.

Here is your first short-cut to Buddhahood: Feelings come from the heart.   Emotions come from thoughts.  Emotions come from the ego and conscious/unconscious thoughts.  Feelings come from the body or spirit and/or the heart—-your conscience.

The words feelings and emotions–have long been misrepresented.  In Zen Buddhism we’re looking for truth and answers—so this naturally invites us to dissect words to get to the core of their meaning.  This leads us—to understanding, which is the connective tissue to a peaceful heart, as well as the connection between two souls. In Zen Communities, {the Sangha} this dissecting takes the form of what we call “Dharma Combat.”  Dharma Combat takes place when the Zen teacher or Practitioner challenges the Zen Students/Practitioners with a profound question. Students will raise their hands to answer the question from different angles, from different perspectives. As this back and forth continues, each answer provokes new questions and new answers, answers that go deeper and deeper, this can continue for hours, finally arriving at a profound truth.    We may have a feeling without a thought, but we cannot experience an emotion without a thought, even if you are not conscious of that thought.

Here is your next Short-cut to Buddhahood:  Emotions numb the ability to feel.  Emotions are a Defense against Feelings. 

When it’s just too painful to Feel, we become Emotional. In Buddhism we are encouraged to feel the pain. Using sadness as an example; as the pain registers, we feel a connection to a deep sorrow—-instead of feeling sorry for ourselves or having a pity party, we feel the natural state of sorrow which is part of being a human being. In sorrow, we are feeling. We feel a profound stillness as we accept a situation—allowing sorrow to move through the body and spirit and tears may fall.  We are presented with a feeling of acceptance and stillness—we feel this throughout our physical being, followed by a grounding connection.  While feeling… we are reminded that we are spiritual beings having an experience in the human body. Accepting the sorrow with each breath, we become conscious of the act of acceptance. As we breathe in and out, we allow the sorrow to transcend downward through our body. When tears of sorrow fall by their own accord, we are feeling. However, when we submit to sadness {an emotion/thought based} instead of sorrow {conscience based} sadness often develops into—dwelling thoughts. Dwelling thoughts very quickly lead to an emotional state, which often turns to anger, rage, bitterness, hate and/or despair.  These emotions are debilitating, crippling our ability to function.  When a person is crying the “ugly cry”—a cry that twists and distorts the face—most likely that person is not feeling, but is in an emotional state—cutting off the raw feeling that is necessary for that experience to be transcended through the body, mind and soul. 

Here is your next Short-cut to Buddhahood:  So long as you are emotional, you are not feeling.

In Buddhism, all emotions cause disturbances and disruptions, even emotions that people think are positive or good. An emotion is in motion, and because it rides on an energy within us—it is fleeting.  Emotions hitch a ride on our nervous system.  This is why emotions can exhaust us and we become emotionally drained.  Feelings do not drain us. The moment an experience is given a label, such as happy or sad, it will change course. For example, the ‘happiness’ may suddenly vanish, or the ‘sadness’ will become anger or despair.  Although emotions are a natural part of our human makeup, and we shouldn’t deny our emotions or try to bury them.  In Buddhism, we are taught how to transcend our emotions and convert them into feelings.   However—-Emotions are not a part of our inherited Higher Self.  Emotions do not come from our Buddha Nature.  While feelings come from our Buddha Nature.  Feelings have traits: like kindness, love, sorrow, disappointment, grace, joy, pure patience, empathy and compassion—-are all within our inherited Higher Selves—our Buddha Nature.

Here is your last Short-cut to Buddhahood—on the topic of Emotions vs Feelings—prior to the publication of A Short-cut to Buddhahood.  It’s better to feel the pain than to take the easy way out, that is getting emotional.  Emotions offer only a temporary relief.  When we feel the pain or the joy…we are doing our spiritual work.  In Buddhism we believe in reincarnation, that said; Feelings transcend our soul forever—unlike emotions.  Our feelings are carried into our next reincarnation, inching us closer to Buddhahood.  

2020, has proven to be a challenging year for all of us.  During this period of conversion at the core level of our communities—it’s time to bring our attention to the core reasons to why we’re experiencing internal discontent. These are the first steps towards empowering ourselves, and are healing short-cuts to Buddhahood.




  • Patricia Mitchell

    Author/Buddhist/Spiritual Facilitator, Child Advocate/Founder of Patricia's Children Inc..

    'A Short-cut to Buddhahood'

    Patricia Mitchell is an Author and Practitioner of Zen Buddhism at Zen Mountain Monastery Mt. Tremper NY, studying Zen Buddhism for 18 years, she also studied Tibetan Buddhism on and off for several years and had a brief residence at KTD---a Tibetan Monastery in Woodstock NY.    Patricia holds a B.A. in Communications from Oakland University; studying world religions----was fortunate to attend King's College in the UK, receiving an English Minor, as well as attending the prestigious Colorado College---where her classes required the students to meditate daily and had distinguished renowned professors.   She's lived and worked in six European Cities, although based in NYC for over a decade.  A professional photographer in NYC as a photojournalist, also specializing in children and babies.   Patricia is a Spiritual Facilitator, using techniques she learned at the Brahman Ranch in New Mexico over 25 years ago---holding workshops that transcend emotional blockages, resulting in all forms of healing.  She assisted in the early development of Menla Mountain Retreat Center, a Tibetan Buddhist based center, that Hosts spiritual teachers and traditions from around the globe.  The property/centered is owned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  Menla is a branch of Tibet House in NYC. She is an active Child Advocate, Founder of Patricia’s Children Inc. a 5O1c3 charity. She's a Huffington Post Contributor, her articles reached Senator Stabenow, who contact Patricia to speak to the House of Representatives and ‘The Governors Private Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.’  Her book ‘A Short-cut to Buddhahood’ will be out later this year.  Her new Facebook Page is; 'Zen A Short-cut to Buddhahood 11:11' Follow her on her NEW Youtube page; Zen A Short-cut to Buddhahood/11:11 and