Holding on to a Loving State of Mind

Holding on to a Loving State of Mind

These are crazy times in a world gone mad, but fear does not have to control our lives, our speech, our manner of being in the world or how we respond to our fellow human beings.

Let me use an example. I cannot know about you, but I was quite disappointed in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s publicizing of her DNA. She let Trump’s insanity occupy her and caused her to behave in ways that echo Trump himself. We have to try our best to continue a spiritual state of mind before and after meditation or prayer, whatever it may be that we do. Praying or meditating and then going off to commit murder will not bring any of us to paradise either in this life or in the next.

Frankly, while journalists, writers, teachers and innocent people are being imprisoned without hope, while a journalist of our own—Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post—has his fingers removed, is decapitated and then dismembered, who has the time or the energy to think about Elizabeth Warren’s DNA? We are all the same. In her right mind, Warren would not be thinking about it either. She is a brilliant and strong woman. But even she allowed Trump to get to her, to respond in a way that honestly does not make her look as smart as she is. She is not alone.

Saying ‘osu’ to myself

Blissful is not my ongoing state of mind. I have to try every day. (PHOTO BY ARTHUR SKOY)

Blissful is not my ongoing state of mind. I have to try every day. (PHOTO BY ARTHUR SKOY)

Now I must admit, the look on my face in this photo, although blissful, is not my ongoing state of mind. I have to remind myself where my priorities lie and then work on myself constantly. There are times that I fail and must then say “osu” to myself.

Osu is an expression I learned studying Japanese karate. The phrase is “oshi shinobu” which translates roughly to: I will continue to try harder. It is used in the shortened form as a term of respect and ongoing commitment to do the right thing and persevere through adversity. In the old days, it was used in the Japanese military. Yelling “osu” when lining up to fight someone I felt to be much stronger than myself would give me the courage to do my best.

We cannot know if our inner peace is effective in the larger scheme of things, but I do believe that it can affect the inner peace of those closest to us and those who move around us. When we operate from a place of lovingkindness within, how can those around us not feel it as well? However far that lovingkindness spreads is not up to us. We have to try to do it anyway.

Fear is an old technique, and it is effective. In these challenging times, fear is being used everywhere on this planet. Perhaps it always has been. Our hell is right here on this earth. But so is our heaven. What we embrace is always up to us.

One way I find peace amid turbulent times is in my garden. (PHOTO BY PHYLLIS M SKOY)

One way I find peace amid turbulent times is in my garden. (PHOTO BY PHYLLIS M SKOY)

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