Happiness and Mind Training

posted in: happiness, Meditation | 1
flower seed head (ckg photo)

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.

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One Response

  1. Sad news indeed, Caroline.

    When I was in the depths of anguish and grief over the loss of years of my life, I honestly felt for the longest time like I was just waiting for something to change. Some sign that it was all over.

    A good friend of mine said at the time – Well, this is the time when you need to be quiet and take care of yourself. And not have to be social or do anything you don’t want to do. And that’s okay…

    To some extent that’s exactly how I dealt with it. Almost like a splinter in my finger, one I didn’t dare pull out for a while because of the pain. But then the pain of leaving it in eventually became less than the need to remove it. Not that removing it didn’t hurt – it did very much – but it was the action that was needed at that time. Maybe I could’ve done it sooner. But then, maybe I couldn’t have.

    There’s a time for everything and sometimes, its just time to grieve. But eventually, oh yes, eventually its time to come up for fresh air again and see the world with our newly healed wounds and be okay with that.

    .-= Svasti´s last blog ..I’ve never really thought about… =-.

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