Is emotional suppression healthy?


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I am not sure how true this is all for all Buddhists, but here we have a Buddhist Monestary nearby us that advocates that, essentially, we should mentally suppress any of the vice-emotions when they occurr.

I reasoned with them, that by suppressing problems, we are not actually ridding of them, simply pushing them back. Just as one clean their rooms by pushing the mess underneath their bed. Inevitably, the problems/mess will resuface again and with much more vigour. This is supported by psychologists and is considered very unhealthy to suppress emotions, because it leads to all kinds of psychological disorders.

What does Buddhism say about this?
Hello Suraj and welcome,

Great topic, I think this is a pretty common misconception. I think I know where the confusion lies. Simply becuase you used the word "essentially" I would assume that the monestary probably advocates controlling, not suppressing emotions. Although on the surface the two would seem to be similar, there is in fact a subtle but very vital difference. Most of us would have to agree that suppressing emotions is not a healthy practice. Controlling emotions in Buddhism, in most cases, implies and intellectual process of changing perceptions of the causes (or the causes themselves) of emotional extemes and learning to understand them so that we are eventually in full control of our own emotions instead of the other way around.

I hope that helps and that my assumption is correct so that this actually made some sense. :D

Indeed, ideally one should not suppress emotions for the reasons you have mentioned, this is not helpful. Monastic life however requires that one's conduct be impeccable, since it is the livelihood of the ordained - they are dependent on the lay community.

In the Vajrayana traditions of Tibet/Nepal/Bhutan, the practitioners' propensities are even antagonized under the careful supervision of a guru. A very personal relationship is set up, and this is the stable ground which allows these vices to surface and to be eradicated. It seems the parallel in Theravadin monasteries is that the monastery is the stable ground, while the practice of Vipassana meditation roots out these "defilements".