Chapter 126 Practice Random Acts of Kindness, Your Thoughts Have Energy

Forgive that person just as others forgave you even in a practical sense because you cannot win that argument.  Look at your “pot of water on the stove again”, it is your mind.  Now it is not only simmering, but is now boiling over.  And it was you that turned up the heat (it was your choice).  If you had forgotten the other person completely or just let her anger bounce off of you, then what would have become of your anger?  Suppose the next customer who drives up is a great friend whom you did not see for a long time and gives you his or her phone number and wants to treat you to dinner? 

            In that scenario, the angry confrontation that you experienced before is completely erased from your mind.  In fact, it ceases to exist anywhere.  Your thoughts are energy.  It is like creating a hot coal of matter every time your mind and ego are jolted.  But if you train your mind for equanimity, then your mind, “pot of water on a stove” will stay cool.  Not only will you keep your cool and maybe even your job (if you shouted back at the customer you would have been fired), your morning will continue to pass without incident and without suffering (that was induced by your mind).  Equanimity is experienced again…

            This is so important.  You have a choice here.  Many feel that they don’t have a choice but to react in anger.  But recall the story of the Buddha who was hurled insults as he walked down the road.  He gave the analogy, “If someone gives you a gift and you don’t accept it, then who is the owner of the gift?”  Those are such wise words.  If you accept the anger, your mind is acting just like a sponge, absorbing all the toxicity from the angry person.  Make your mind like a mirror that cannot absorb anything.  The angry simply shines onto you but cannot be absorbed, and reflects back to the person who angered you.

            In such cases, just smile and take a deep breath and quiet your mind and offer up a blessing to the angry customer.  Imagine again all the times you yourself were in a hurry or upset about a situation and let an innocent person “have it”.  As the Bible wrote, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  Your mind and even your body will feel stronger as a result as well.

            Remember the times when someone was angry with you and shouting at you.  If you were in an unawakened situation, you felt weak, and your legs felt like giving out from under you.  But remember the times when you were praised and you absorbed and your ego soared to new heights.  You wanted to dance and your legs were as strong as tree trunks.  Your poise even changed too. 

            Recall the times when someone was angry at you and try to recall your posture.  You probably held your head down and slouched over.  But when someone praised you, you held your head up high and your posture was straightened, chest forward.  Do so likewise always and every time you face an angry person.  Just “get over it” quickly and allow the negative energy to dissipate.

            The art and skill of “getting over it” is central to achieving lasting happiness.  For most people who are unawake, they will become angry.  To the more awakened ones, they will lose their anger (even if they were angry even for a moment) quickly.  But to the least awakened, they will internalize the anger like water to a dry sponge, and become unsettled.  They will accept and keep the anger bottled up.  They may carry the received anger for a long long time, maybe the entire morning and into the afternoon. 

            They may then reflect back the anger to others, since it is inside them like a cancer.  If they are serving another customer at the McDonald’s as in the example I gave, they may be rude and inconsiderate while taking the order.  So the anger that the initial customer gave, doesn’t dissipate or disappear, the negative energy goes on and travels on, like a sorrowful echo.

            You may then ruin someone else’s day, and he or she may drive off and cut off another driver on the road in frustration and cause an accident.  Then, the people in the accident also will suffer.  And the chain of suffering will continue on to infinity.  So be very careful what you think about because in a very real way, your thoughts are reality.  And they continue creating realities through space and time. 

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About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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