We have had time to see a different perspective. What's your refection? Let's be open and think honestly. These are my thoughts. Do you feel the future is brighter for humankind? I do. I am feeling optimistic.
More time to be present
I feel like there is more space in my head. Looking back at my previous lifestyle, I was often worried about what I'd done and what may happen in the future. I still do this, but much less now and I like it better this way. The mind frequently refers back to the past to judge what's expected in the future. Eckhart Tolle advises that it is ok to think about the past for practical reasons. We need to look at how things were done in the past for information and ideas, however, we need to be careful and minimise the time and energy used to dwell on the things we can't change. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, P18 Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down.
To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. The more we think about the past and future, the more we feed our ego. Buddhism teaches about 'being present', and that suffering, dukkha, stems from our constant 'desires' of wanting and wishing. This longing means that nothing is good enough and we need more of something, less of something or something different to be happier. This concept also applies to clinging on to things, not accepting changes and being in denial about life's impermanence. Refusing to accept 'what is' causes conflict and resistance in our body, causing pain and suffering. Dukkha doesn't always mean severe suffering, it can be from mild irritation and unhappiness to anguish and despair. All humans share this in common, it doesn't matter who they are, everyone goes through these feelings one way or another. Strangely, I have been reminded of this concept from time to time through what I read, listen and notice in my environment. It's like I am being urged to take notice and wake up to the present moment. 'Being present to what is' has been an on-going theme of my daily meditation. So when I do my morning practice, walk to a shop, walk in the woods, prepare meals and attend to my plants, I try my best to be present to what is. When I put some effort into it and keep focus, I notice that my body feels more fluid in difficult postures, I get more smiles on the street, my plants look more vibrant and I feel more peaceful. I guess when I'm not consciously present or I am preoccupied, I don't notice much around me. I believe all living beings respond to each other's energy. So let's be more conscious and cut down the excess thinking.
Not just space between people, but space in the mind. Gaps in between thoughts. I could think one thing and move onto the next without any break between those thoughts, trying to work out what's next or distracting my attention to avoid something. These days, I deliberately look out of the window and see the trees, grass and the sky to pause between thoughts and bring attention to my breathing. In these blank spaces, your energy is preserved and you are being present.
Yes, more love is required in this society. Love overcomes anger and fear. Anger is fear in disguise. These days, when I see an angry person, I try to see behind their angry rant. There must be a lack of trust, fear and vulnerability that triggers their angry reactions. I don't always succeed but I try my best to see the suffering. If I manage to connect with the real energy behind the action, I can change the way I see the person, with sympathy and compassion. The effort in itself changes dynamics between people, minimising damage.
I accept there are people who can't see everyone as "just humans". I accept there are people who need to label others to make sense of things. This is the way of the world and it'll take generations to change. For me personally, I am a "HUMAN", not BAME, Asian or even Others. I find the whole race and cultural separation concept quite curious and I simply can't understand why it's so important for some people to categorise other humans based on how they look (I acknowledge these categories can help evidence prejudice). From time to time I am the actual subject of people's prejudices. I get deeply sad and disappointed but I never let it get under my skin. This is because I am proud of who I am. I also don't see and distinguish others with the colour of skin or the shapes of their eyes. WE ARE ALL HUMANS, full stop. We have the same basic needs. I hope more and more people can see it this way. I teach my children to be proud of who they are. We are beautiful and important just the way we are. We must frequently check our own prejudice and reflect on it. Love brews inside us. It's not something you can acquire from outside. We need to learn to love ourselves first, to accept all parts of us into our heart. Once we can do that, we can share with others properly.
Thank you for reading.
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