This is our 38th week of On-Line Meditation.
I’m no different to anyone else so from time-to-time my mind dwells on negativity. The Buddhist’s have a term for this, ‘Negative Emotions’, those pesky thoughts that creep into our mind and transform our mood and in extreme circumstances begin to influence our everyday temperament.
I began to dwell on this as I read a remarkable book, “The Happiest Man on Earth”, the story of Eddie Jaku a centenarian German Jew who in 1938 was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp. In the book he shares how he found gratitude, kindness and hope in the darkest of places. His philosophy of life is, ‘life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It’s up to you.’ Although he faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march, losing family and friends, he survived. He made a vow to smile every day and now believes that he is the ‘happiest man on earth’.
In the darkest of times we can gain comfort in meditation and mindfulness practices. I know from experience how challenging it can be to orientate to a meditation routine when we are overcome by illness, grief, stress and anxiety. Yet if we persevere and are faithful to our practice it becomes second nature and although we may struggle to meditate when we are suffering, or loved ones are suffering, the mere fact that it has become habitual is often enough to sustain us through a ‘rough patch’.
I truly believe that like ‘faith’, meditation comes into its own when we most need it. It is like an antidote to negative emotions. It is not like all our problems and sorrow vanish but rather meditation transforms our emotions, freeing us from their influence.
And now let’s meditate in the fashion that you are accustomed. You might like to dedicate this meditation practice to those affected by the pandemic or you might have some other worthy intention.
(Meditate for up to 20 minutes.)
As we go about our daily activities I hope that by our attention, our awareness in the present, we will find joy in the midst of the losses brought about during this pandemic.