For Sean P. O’Rourke (1985-2009)
This has been a season of death. On Saturday, three young men died in a tragic car accident. One of them was the son of a long-time friend and writing group buddy, a member of the extended “Penelope Writers” family.
Watching the faces of the O’Rourke family as they followed the coffin wrenched my heart. What sadness! Sadness heaping upon sadness these past three months.
What’s a YOGINI to do?
It’s healthy to feel emotions, to give them space to exist and pass through. It’s not so beneficial to hold onto them or to stifle them — though that is EXACTLY what I’d often like to do. Sometimes I just want to wallow in negativity, feeling sorry for myself, feeling a victim to circumstances, wishing the world would shake its collective head and join my sad little pity party.
Fortunately,yoga and meditation are such life-changing tools that these depressing emotions can flow through me as if they were rain water washing through sandy soil. I don’t need to IDENTIFY with and embellish the stories that coincide with these emotions. I cringe at how I did exactly that in the past though!!
FURTHERMORE, science is now clearly showing the plasticity of the mind that yogis have claimed for hundreds of years. I’ll collect some of this research in a future post, but for now, check out Buddhist priest, Mathieu Ricard’s take on happiness and mind training from TED. Some call Ricard the “happiest man alive” because of the results of his brain scans.
I’m sure many of the readers of LY have seen these sorts of changes happen in their life. How have you dealt with overwhelming grief? Have you noticed any effects of your practices on your emotional life? Please share them with us!
Mathieu Ricard’s blog is also enjoyable as well as thought provoking. The link is a page translated from the French.