The weak can never forgive. But one week of meditation can give us the strength to forgive. Not exactly how Gandhi said it, but I’m sure he’d get down with the intention.
Although I have been practicing mindfulness since I moved to live with my mother, it is only since undertaking this project that I have felt motivated enough to give power to my words of forgiveness. And when I am talking about forgiveness, I mean of myself.
I hardly worry about how other people have wronged me. I may have worried about it in the moment, when the hurt was fresh and I was feeling justified in my feelings because the hurt was tangible and imbued with meaning. But as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, hurt, or pain, tells us that there is something wrong. If someone hurt me, or if I hurt someone else, something was wrong before that hurt occurred. Incremental amounts of hurt were building up until the one hurt happened that was so bad that everything fell apart. And people understand this! I read a very intimate post from one of my best friends from elementary school talking about depression (it’s some kind of ‘Let’s Talk’ day – sweet way to promote your company by-the-by Bell – not to say that it’s not a good cause but let’s de-personalize our issues, aka de-monetize them. I know that I will come off like a duck saying that because the issue shouldn’t be flicked with. Oh well.) My friend wrote that she is living what she terms to be an ‘ideal life’ but is secretly battling depression. I’m not here to discuss any of that, just that she phrased her issues as building up slowly over time as a wall around her, one that eventually became too high and is now toppling over. I couldn’t have put relationship collapse into better wording myself.
Whatever depression is, I have no doubt that it has to do with the collapse of our relationships worldwide. Our relationships with nature, with curiosity, with loved ones, with strangers, and with ourselves are all failing and/or doomed entirely. Now, I don’t believe that anything goes away forever, and if you ever get around to reading The Source Field Investigations, you will be exposed to information suggesting that the Universe has encoded all of life’s “code” in the source, which is both too abstract and scientific for me to go into great deal right now. Suffice it to say, for the moment, that although life or parts of it may go extinct, or disappear, it can be regenerated, even after millions of years, when the right circumstances allow for its return. One example of this is the marine tube worm Protulophila, thought to be extinct for 4 million years and was found thriving in New Zealand waters in 2014. This is one example and obviously it could have existed this whole time, but I’d prefer to believe that the DNA on this planet changes based on environmental conditions.
If the above premise is correct, which it can very well be based on developing scientific findings on sudden evolution and changes to DNA happening within one or a few generations, then we have more potential than we ever imagined. At some point in time, humans evolved global consciousness. I think that this is what differentiates us from animals, although I still feel that most complex species have more awareness than most humans do these days. Nevertheless, our ability to conceptualize how other people might live or feel in places that we haven’t seen and circumstances we don’t fully understand, well that is what makes humans different. I think that dolphins and their sonar have an incredible mechanical/physical awareness of space and time, but our understanding or at least acknowledgement of timespace gives our thought process more complexity.
Because it’s really difficult to google ‘timespace,’ a basic definition that I can give you is this: it is three dimensions of time and one dimension of space. Essentially, space becomes linear and time can go in all directions. It would be as though your body is nearly still (although it would be moving at an incredible slow speed) but your mind goes anywhere and everywhere. It is the feeling of timelessness of being in a dream, out of body experience, or near-death experience: it can feel like years have passed when it’s only been minutes that you “lost consciousness”. Your consciousness is not lost in these experience; it is your body that is lost. The only time we lose consciousness is when we black-out drink or take drugs and our body continues doing things while our mind goes dark.
To get back to the issue of hurt, I want to share what I hurt about: I hurt when I feel anger or resentment or jealousy of someone else and I allow those feelings to manifest into an action or words. Because of my meditation practice, I know that feelings will come and go. It is up to me to put a label on it and put it aside, not indulging that feeling with words or actions. I keep it in my mind in a safe place and I know where it is and why it is there. But when I am not meditating and I am interacting with other humans, it is difficult to resist criticisms of others, as if it takes away from our own inadequacies. It is like the DOW hitting 20,000 today – it doesn’t change the environmental, moral, fiscal, etc deficiencies that American society is dealing with today. Putting a fancy label (mean or nice) onto another person does nothing to better ourselves; it worsens us, because it stretches our energy out to other people. By criticizing or glorifying someone who is not with us, we are only sending our energy out and can expect none in return.
BUT, this meditation project is teaching me that when we share our stories with others, they will share with us. It’s not up to us to ask or speculate. It is up to us to give and expect nothing but accept everything that we get in return. If you want nothing, give nothing. It’s that simple.
Watching CNN alongside social media helps me realize that opinions about but real listening is very rare. A famous older celebrity was a guest on a popular CNN pundit’s show tonight and she was asked a variety of questions about her opinions on the current hot topics in American politics. I’m not really sure what business a celebrity has of informing us about every day topics (I can understand a celebrity telling us about what it’s like to be a sex slave for the super wealthy or what movie set catering is like), but she actually blew me away when she said that she did not agree with one of the audience member’s distaste for the women’s march in general, but she did understand why the audience member felt offended by the hateful remarks that came from celebrities at the rally. The celebrity recognized that we have to listen to one another and have a dialogue.
If we all share what we know instead of what we think might be, we open ourselves up to being corrected, which can only be a good thing for all of us in the end. Of course, we will have to shelve our egos, potentially for good, but I can only see that as being a good thing. We want to open ourselves up to evolution. We cannot fear hurt because pain lets us know that it’s time to change. We are being slapped right now. That hurt that people feel: depression, anxiety, obesity, insomnia, etc etc etc… that is life telling us that it’s time to change. And not any one person who is suffering must change. If we truly love one another, we will sacrifice our immediate pleasure to commiserate with those we are closest to so that we can help one another align our lives. Put that ego on the mantle, label it what it is (a nuissance to real connection), see why it is here and why it doesn’t belong, and move on.
No selfies, just selfless sharing.
Today’s Meditation: Zazen continued…. (see my calendar to keep up with my meditation schedule)
Yesterday, I changed my plans and left my meditation for the evening, which I enjoyed directly under the Milky Way with Orion looking down at me. I feel protected under a starry sky, like being cocooned in an infinite blanket. I felt the presence of life all around me and I let it carry me into a place where my thoughts accepted that I am not my ego and I am not alone. The maybe-thoughts that litter my mind are not the reality of the world around me. The real connections that I am building with others are reality.
Today’s intention for meditation is to accept that I am not better, smarter, more in tune than anyone else. Our situations are all circumstantial and I can help change come about if I change how I view the results of circumstances: am I observing only the end product or am I seeing the roots of the issues and how I can help solve those? I hope for the later, and so the education-meditation project continues.
Thank you for reading and I hope to connect with you again soon.