We have all experienced being upset about something, and spending time getting more and more upset (worried, angry, hurt, jealous, guilty, and so on) as we mull over it, hence throwing fuel on the fire. How useless is that? Exceptions are compassion and “clean” sadness or grief, which are uncontaminated by concomitant false beliefs, and do not cause contraction of the body.
The suggestion here is that it is best to deal with the matter in a constructive way to resolve it, letting go of upset, perhaps deciding to take some action, shifting to compassion, or accepting something that is beyond our control, even if we do not like it, and so forth. One good way to deal with it constructively, is to WONDER about it. Wondering about something pleasant may be necessary first, to allow a shift of energy into the open relaxed state of wondering. If it is not a good time to deal with it constructively, then it gets stored in your container until such time that you choose to take it out in order to deal with it constructively. For example, lying in bed in the middle of the night is not the best time to deal with anything-it is time to be sleeping, and one can see things much more clearly in the daytime.
The container is just a tool to help one choose when to focus on what. It is good to know and practice that it is up to us when to have our attention focused on what. Just because something pops into our minds does not mean that we have to stay focused on it at that time if it is not a good time. Also, I have discovered that often people have several things on their minds simultaneously, each creating its stress while nothing is getting resolved. No wonder they are walking around feeling tense! Best to allow everything to go into the container, then you are in charge of when you choose to take ONE thing out at a time to deal with CONSTRUCTIVELY. Even if the topic is not upsetting, it may be something you wish to focus on later rather than at the time it pops up when you want your focus elsewhere. Anything you choose to store in your container is always available to be retrieved at a later time.
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR TOOL: Close your eyes and allow an image of a container to pop up. As you continue to use it, let it evolve if it needs to in order to best suit your needs. When you want a topic to go into your container, simply watch it quickly and easily go in, without you having to lift a baby finger. Some people prefer to see the matter just float into their container; others like to see it get sucked in by a vacuum force. Any way is fine, as long as you don’t do anything but watch it go in QUICKLY. If there are several things on your mind, they can all go in at once, without you exploring what they all are. Examples of ways people’s containers have evolved is getting a lock put on, having something heavy on top of the lid, the container getting larger, or even turning , into a vault with thick walls. If something is reluctant to go into the container, it is probably because it feels pressing. If it cannot be dealt with at that time, reassuring it that it is important, and telling it when you will deal with it constructively, usually works at having it agree to go into the container.
Once the mind is empty, you should feel a relaxation in the body (to let you know that the topics are indeed in the container), and an ability to be more aware of the here and now. This makes you more effective at whatever task you might be undertaking. Just coming here frequently to a relaxed state with an empty mind is good for us with its grounding effect. Often, going back to the topic that was creating the upset after spending some time here in relaxation, feels very different, with the topic no longer being as upsetting.
You may find it useful to have something serve as a reminder to check in to see whether you are present or need to use your container. Examples include something that you will see repeatedly throughout the day, such as a bracelet, watch, rubber band on your wrist, ring, or cell phone screen.
If you make yourself the rule that either you are dealing with something constructively, or not thinking about it at all with the help of your container, you will be protecting yourself from the unpleasant state of getting burned by adding fuel to the fire.