I like this very simple quotation from Thich Nhat Hanh, a meditation master from Vietnam. He says that when we have a toothache we suffer from the toothache, but when we don’t have a toothache do we ever say: “Wow, I don’t have a toothache today!” Even when we don’t have a toothache we are thinking: “Maybe I will get one tomorrow”. Aren’t we funny?
I really like to emphasise this aspect very much. When negative emotions are absent really to know that they are absent. There is an interesting Zen story in this connection. Someone went to a Zen master and said: “I have a big problem.” The Zen master asked: “Well, what is your big problem?” “My big problem is that I get angry”. “So”, the Zen master replied, “where is your anger now?” Of course, the anger was not there. The Zen master continued: “If it is your anger, you should be able to produce it!”