Yes, I had a hard week last week. I don’t know if my dip into depression and anxiety are because this time of year has historically been more challenging, or if my medications are making my brain chemistry worse or if the medical professionals triggered me.  Most likely it is simply a combination of all three. After all, 2016 has been challenging for me in general.

When the mind is upset, when it obsesses about something, when it hammers you for something you are doing or not doing, these are the opportunities in time you that you obtain when you can stop participating with the ongoing and familiar litany. Stop dwelling on the words and really ask your toddler inner self, “What is this really about?”  When I was unwrapping my fifth chocolate covered cherry to eat and my mind said, “What the hell are you doing?  Sugar is not good for cancer, and blah, blah, blah, hammering away at me.  In that moment of time, I first said to this mean part of me, “Where were you when these cherries went into my shopping cart? Where were you for cherry number one, two, three and four?”  Just remember that if it is spending, eating, and you can name your poison, that the reason the brain puts a stop to you at any point is because it has reached the dosage it was seeking.  The brain literally can know how much of a substance will medicate it.  For me the dosage of this particular substance is five. However, it is not that forthcoming about what is really going on.

Ask yourself, “What is really going on for you?” The problem with this line of questioning is that a emotion will happen that might be the very emotion you are avoiding with anger, judgment, lack, depression, anxiety and annoyance or substances.

For example, my mind told me that what was going on with the cherries is that it was the anniversary of my mother’s death and I had “forgotten”,

that this is the mother who in my childhood always gave me chocolate covered cherries for Christmas. In other words, all this eating cherries and distraction were about grief that if felt would move through lile the wave it is meant to be.  The mind in avoiding the pain, is avoiding the inner self that is suffering.  This avoidance of our inner pain allows the brain to become creative in its way of torturing us.  We fantasize about getting over loss so that we never have to feel it again and that is just our ongoing desire to escape the pain again.

What I truly fear is simply a feeling that will flow in and out like the wave it is meant to be when allowed to freely flow. This simple attention to our feelings is a necessary component for creating your life.  When the emotions are subverted, they steal your energy. As soon as I see my suffering, I can offer myself compassion.  As soon as I offer myself compassion, I offer to everyone.  Energy is released.

When you look at the ongoing words in your minds, the ongoing feeling in the body and your energy, you are looking at your energy flow. Last weekend, I was rereading the proof for the Destiny Finding Your Way Home ebook and read “To what are you willing to be devoted.”  In other words, we are automatically programmed to devote our energy to what we devote it to.  In order to manifest an intention, to change the outcomes in the future, our energy flow would need to alter, to be devoted to the new reality.

While I was devoting energy to buying and eating chocolate covered cherries, eating them, processing them and then beating myself up about them, I was using up my resources in an unconscious avoidance of a grief I had conveniently forgotten and did not want to feel. By simply feeling the loss, as painful as it might feel, the energy would be released for a different direction.

Here are the steps for processing the mind one more time: Watch what you are thinking, saying to yourself, and how you are feeling.  Ask yourself, “What is this really about for you?”  Dip your toe into your emotion, feel it and then allow it to flow back into the ethers.  Then, offer yourself some compassion.  You can always revisit your emotion time and again instead of trying to do it all at once in a futile attempt to be rid of it once and for all.  Allow rather than restrict. Flow rather than dive into the depths of despair. Respect rather than reject.

Now you are ready to decide your path of devotion. In the Hindu tradition, two ways to protect yourself as a healer, as a righteous person is to practice Bhakti Yoga, which is devotional yoga and Karma Yoga, which is enlightened actions, “performed without desires and thereby creating no new karma.” Desire creates karma, a need for correction.

Within these various practices there is a goal of destroying the evil of the negative mind and the outer world. (Babaji page 207)

How do you destroy evil? Fortunately, the selection for today from The Buddha is Still Teaching (selected and Edited by jack Kornfield) offers a suggestion. This story is adapted from the book Soul Food: Stories to Nourish the Spirit and the Heart and is titled “The Eternal Law of Love” by Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman.

“Once I was working with a friend and teacher, Maha Ghosananda, the Gandhi of Cambodia.” He was one of the few monastics to survive the Cambodian genocide, and in response, he decided to open a Buddhist temple in the barren refugee camp filled with Khmer Rouge communists.  In the hot and crowded camp were fifty thousand villagers who had become communists at gunpoint and had now fled to the Thai border.  When the bamboo temple was nearly finished, the Khmer Rouge underground threatened to kill any who went there.  In spite of this, a temple gong was rung, and on its opening day, more than twenty thousand people crowed into the dusty square for the ceremony.  Now in front of him were the sad remnants of other broken families; an uncle with two nieces, a mother with only one of three children.  Their schools had been burned, their villages destroyed, and in nearly every family, members had been executed or ripped away.  Their faces were filled with sorrow.  All of Maha Ghosananda’s family had been killed.  I wondered what he would say to people who had suffered so greatly.”

“Maha Ghosananda began the service with the traditional chants that had permeated village life for a thousand years. Though these words had been silenced for years and the temples destroyed, they still remained in the hearts of these people whose lives had known as much sorrow and injustice as any on earth.”

“Then Maha Ghosanands began chanting one of the central teachings of the Buddha, first in Pali and then in Cambodian, reciting the words over and over:

“Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law.

“As he chanted these verses over and over, hundreds, then thousands began to chant with him. They chanted and wept.  These were the tears of the Dharma falling on their parched hearts, for it was clear that the truth of this chant and their longing for forgiveness was even greater than the sorrows they had to bear.”

So let’s practice. Close your eyes and breathe slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Place your attention in your heart.  Relax and rest inside.  From this vantage point, take a peek at your mind.  Take a peek at how you feel.  Then return to your heart and your breath.

Silently repeat after me:

“Hatred never ceases by hatred

but by love alone is healed.

This is the ancient and eternal law.”

One more time silently repeat after me:

“Hatred never ceases by hatred

but by love alone is healed.

This is the ancient and eternal law.”

Take one more deep breath and remember that love is the devotion that will heal the world and you. Namaste.

  • Diane Sermon 01072017