Category Archives: Better World

Emotional Supernova

Just this morning, I stumbled upon this YouTube clip of Eckhart Tolle answering a question about anger. Although it might seem random in a July 4th message, I thought blowing things up all over the country is a good enough metaphor to share it today. I highly recommend listening to the clip so you can hear the wisdom from the Meister himself, but for what it’s worth, here are my reflections.  

Although unpleasant, anger and strong emotion can help us to grow, when we recognize that they are all just patterns of thought, or what Eckhart calls “thought forms”. When intense feelings come up, instead of identifying with them, fanning that fire, and succumbing to a knee jerk reaction, remember that you are not your thoughts and you don’t even have to believe all your thoughts. As Eckhart said – there’s enormous freedom in that.   

Working with the negativity that arises within us, however it shows up, can be a really important spiritual practice in and of itself. When you recognize anger, see it as just a thought form that you simply absorbed somewhere along the way. It’s not actually you and you can decide to let it go if it’s not serving you. It will probably show up again in the future, but it doesn’t have to control you, or have the ability to ruin your or anyone else’s day. Further, when you can look at your own anger without judgement, you’re naturally more understanding when others get angry.  

So we can even be grateful for anger and other strong emotions because they give us something to work with, a way to expand our understanding, and learn to become truly free. 

The Ayurvedic Perspective   

Also, we may be more prone to anger in the hot weather. Ayurveda, the world’s longest continuously practiced health care system, teaches that we are ruled by energies of fire (Pitta), air (Vata), and earth (Kapha), and that Like Increases Like. So if we’re outside in the hot air, working out hard, eating spicy food, etc, we may feel symptoms of too much fire energy, which includes anger, inflammation, stress, etc.   

Certified Ayurvedic Consultant, Emmie Stamell recommends treating excess pitta with opposite qualities, “A cooling diet and lifestyle practices such as moon-bathing, avoiding the mid-day sun, wearing colors like white and blue, and enjoying a light diet full of locally grown veggies are ways to pacify the conditions associated with excess heat. Coconut, watermelon and salad are great summertime treats. Essential oils like sandalwood and rose cool the body-mind. Exercise is best done in the early morning or evening to avoid overheating the system, and as a general rule, back off to 75% of your typical effort. Yin yoga, or a calmly paced yoga flow that incorporates wide-legged forward folds and twists with elongated exhalations is ideal for a summer practice.”

Image credit: NASA

Memorial Day Musings

Instead of taking just a moment of silence for all the brave men and women who lost their lives defending freedom, I think it would be wonderful to honor them in our meditation practice. When we meditate, we cultivate a sense of peace and expanded consciousness that metaphysically ripples out into the world around us.  

This was demonstrated when 4,000 monks descended upon Washington DC in 1993 to reduce crime by 20% through their own meditation practice. The police chief, who apparently was not a meditator himself, was understandably skeptical. He thought the only thing that could reduce crime by that much would be 20 inches of snow. Imagine his delight when the crime rate decreased by over 23% during the six week experiment! With no added costs, details, trainings, or outreach… just strangers meditating nearby.    

Imagine if more people in our country meditated daily? The Dalai Lama asserted, “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”    

Perhaps one of the solutions to violent crime is not “thoughts and prayers” but “meditation and prayers”. My prayer is for humanity to recognize that we are co-inhabitants of a small planet, and every individual, group, race, and species has a right to peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness.

“Imagine all the people
living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
 John Lennon

Image credit: Michael Levine-Clark