| Taiwan Retreat 2018 Q&A 7 (37:13-42:17)

Yogi: Because of memory, good and bad feelings arise.

Sayadaw: Emotions arise not because of memory. Sanna is sanna – memory is memory. Emotions arise because of wrong thought – when wrong view, wrong thought arises, feelings follow.

You cannot see the wrong thinking – it is too subtle for the mind. You think that emotions arise because of sanna. Sanna is not the problem – its duty is to try to remember everything – good or bad, it remembers and it shows back. That’s its job.

But emotions arise depending on what you’re thinking at the present moment.

Whatever has happened before, it remembers. Whenever this image arises again, the same idea comes back and then the emotion arises again. It’s so quick and fast that you don’t see the wrong thought, how it creates the emotion.

When the story happens, at that time you’re angry because of wrong thought already. The wrong thought still happens, that’s why anger still arises now.

But if there is right thought at the time the same memory arises, anger cannot come. If there is right idea when the story of the past arises, the emotion cannot arise.

Every time the memory arises, you think the same way and the emotion arises. And every time you think, the emotion becomes stronger and stronger. The thinking exaggerates the emotion. That’s why the emotion never ends.

You have to learn – when the memory comes and the emotion comes, watch the emotion first. When the emotion calms down, recall the memory and find out what the mind thinks of the story now. If the idea changes, then the problem is gone.

A lot of people have a problem with memories – they never forget their memories, both good and bad memories. Every time the memory comes, a lot of emotion follows.