#grappling

(quote originally from Jenni @SimpleReminders)  It’s a good one.

Christians may disagree, claiming a Savior is the answer, but Buddha’s enlightenment was that we control our minds and stabilize our practice of beneficial behavior. Only then can we avoid the whip-saw of destructive emotions.

I know this, so why am I still grappling and “hate tweeting”? Like all addictions, habits are extremely difficult to change, even when we know they are harming us and others.

I’ve experienced the benefits of meditation, energy practices and cultivating compassion. Yet anyone reading my twitter posts can see I am quick to anger, and respond in kind when it’s not kind at all. Red hot rhetoric and irrational politics sets me off.  I resort to cursing and name-calling, and shudder to think what might happen if we get into a major clash involving guns and terrorist tactics. It’s time to grasp our minds. Here’s why.

Hate, anger and other strong emotions actually harm us– our bodies and our minds.

Anger and hate trigger the same physical reactions as the “fight or flight” response. Our blood pressure increases and we have internal and external inflammation. That’s why meditation and calming energy practices are beneficial to body and mind.

Knowing that, why do we hate? For me, it’s injustice. An overwhelming anger takes over when I see bullies winning at all cost. Winning is not “winning” if we harm others to claim victory.  It’s actually losing.

It’s not brave to trap and slaughter innocent animals– or cage kids– especially when it’s for “entertainment” and trophies. Why is torture, horror and other violence enjoyable? It’s not for me. It gives me nightmares. Those who claim to enjoy killing or harming other beings often mention the “thrill.”

When I first heard the German term “schadenfreude”, which means taking pleasure in the misery of others, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would feel good about the suffering of others. More recently I came across “the thrill of slander” in a Buddhist commentary on why we lash out verbally. Harsh words harm us more than the recipient.  It raises our blood pressure and exposes our faults as much, or more, than the one we’re criticizing.

Bottom line: anger is not effective. Neither is worry.  We can take action, but to argue or worry accomplishes nothing.  I’m not arguing here, I am simply offering ideas… take them or leave them. 

After years of grappling with my own health, I know the benefits of healthy habits and harmony.  True health comes from harmony.  That is a pith way of stating the obvious, which may not be obvious to everyone. Here’s the point:  Ancient cultures lived in an integrated way, with their medicine man and “priest” as the same person. They didn’t see distinctions between science and health. Natural healing was not mysterious or mystical to them, it was their way of life (full stop.)

Thanks to American “mad men”, pitch men, and snake oil salesmen, the whole world has gone crazy.

America turned the concepts of wellness and health upside down. It is not healthy to ingest poison in the form of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. That becomes obvious with a little conscious, clear thinking. Mixing unknown substances can be fatal — to humans and nature. Americans invented the idea of putting strange substances on our bodies for “beauty” and eating toxic food.

Okay, you get the idea. No need for me to elaborate and create more toxicity with my words. I want to offer antidotes.  That’s why I’m still writing.  It helps me see more clearly and hopefully might help you think about the consequences of our actions and how they affect our own health and well being, as well as others and the planet.

The trick is Seeing Clearly (shameless plug for my last book) and mindfulness.

Seeing Clearly is actually a step in the process of becoming more aware and mindful; mindful of everything, What Is, Creation, and our place in the cosmos.

Being in harmony with the natural world from the infinitesimal to the vast cosmos results in integrity and health. We are part of the continuum. When we are out of sync, unbalanced,  both karmically and physically, we suffer and manifest dis-ease.

These insights on well-being are rooted in ancient cultures and practices. I’ve spent the last couple of years compiling a new “best of” book and hope to publish soon. Writing,

from Free online WordClouds.com
from free wordclouds.com

both here and in the book, helps me clarify and regain my own resolve to live a healthier and happier life.

As beloved Buddhist @Ani Pema Chodron says, “Grappling with the teachings IS our practice.” #grappling is the title of my forthcoming eBook. May it be of benefit.  🙏

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