Balancing alertness and relaxation is important in meditation. If the mind is too alert it can break like a too-tight guitar string, becoming easily distracted. If the mind is too relaxed, the sound of the guitar is off key, becoming dull and nodding off to asleep. This same balance is important in all of life. It keeps us cool and calm, on an “even keel,” less emotional reactive with less excitement and less depression. This does not mean we do not feel or become an AI robot. Far from it. It allows us distance from our anger, jealousy, pride, and self-centeredness. Without all this emotional reactivity we feel closer to others recognizing their pains and struggles. This closeness makes us spiritual warriors standing up to protect them. It is like our family expands to include others, all others. Just as before we stood up for our biological family members, now we stand up for our new human (and animal) family members. They become actual sisters and brothers. Our bonds are strong, sharing the wish to be happy and not hurt. This bond is stronger than blood. It goes beyond genetics. It reaches out to humanity.
The strength of our emotional patterns can be overwhelming. Given the right circumstances, that are not always obvious, the same patterns of anger, jealousy, pride, and attachment recur. They seem to come out of the […]
When we are happy we get excited. When we are down we get sad. But why? Learning equanimity with the eight worldly concerns is important, at least to try. They are: reputation and disgrace; praise […]