Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A Prayer for Peace
I don't watch the news. I don't read the newspaper. I am training the mind and these things are not good for it. First I'll tell you how I'm doing this and then I'll tell you why and then I'll tell you what this has to do with dogs.
Through a sheer act of will I'm becoming more and more acutely aware of what the mind is doing and that allows me to operate it as I consciously choose. It keeps the mind from operating me. When I AM its supervisor, I have control over old and long-practiced habits of response; I don't have to do them any more. I can loosen the mind's restrictive and often irrational beliefs, explode its crazy biases and release its insane thirst for representations of fact – information and/or knowledge that it often identifies with so completely that it thinks it is that. I AM something much more grand and eternal than the mind's conceptual framework and the little story of "me" that it has concocted. Like Dorothy, I have seen the Wizard behind the curtain operating some complex machinery that creates and maintains an illusory reality, and every moment that I become aware, I'm tapping my heals like crazy.
Newspapers are filled with stories of greed, injustice, cruelty and savagery and these are like a drug to the mind. It will latch on to horrifying ideas and images and replay them constantly when the I AM is not supervising and willfully directing thought. This streaming replay delivers us into states of upset and enmity whether we are conscious of it or not. Stop for just a moment and see what the name Michael Vick does to the mind you're familiar with. Did it flip some switches that filled you with feeling? If it did, that body of yours is having a biological stress response and its heart and brain have already telegraphed it far and wide.
Every influence that enters the mind is immediately radiated into the noosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, geosphere—the ALL—as electromagnetic energy. When we feed the mind words like "cruelty," wretched stories of neglect, or images of dogs being horribly and brutally abused, the energy that we radiate is not harmonious. It is incoherent and chaotic. It does not resonate with our truest natures and deepest desires. These discordant emanations immediately and directly affect the mind, body and the whole of reality in some unintended and very unfortunate ways.
When our news-watching, horrifying-picture-seeing, unsupervised mind replays a reality that we do not like or want, over and over and over again, it affirms the existence of the very thing we resist. When we consciously think about what we don't want, when we see it in the mind, we feed it energy; we agree with its truth and its inevitability in the world. When we hope and wish that it were not so, the mind affirms that it is so and that it's opposite isn't and the force of our resistance and desire actually keeps what we want at bay. None of this helps us create a world in which these events are less likely to occur. It keeps us all locked in a bad dream of our own making.
To make matters worse, when we become aware of an injustice, neglect, brutality or abuse, the mind will help us to transfer the intensity of our emotions onto a perpetrator who will become a symbol of cause and guilt. We will assign to it all responsibility for the unwanted event showing up in our reality. The mind will attack the symbol again and again. Toward it, we will direct forceful feelings of hate, revulsion and contempt and we will feel right and justified to wish for its cruel punishment and even its demise. Unbeknownst to us, the identification of a perpetrator actually works against us. It feeds very strong energy to the deed that was done, the very thing we don't want. Violence doesn’t correct violence; it perpetuates it.
As part of its training, I feed the mind pictures and stories of what I do want to see in the world and direct it to have thoughts and see visions of that reality. I have to tell you that it doesn't want to do this because it is so contrary to the mind's very purpose and its conditioned and habituated history of operation. At any moment that I AM is not watching, it plays and replays its program.
For all of the reasons outlined above, I shield the mind from images and stories that represent cruelty toward animals. I don't want to expose it to the scarred and damaged faces of dogs who are fought for sport, the mutilated victims of unimaginable crimes and the emaciated bodies of animals left by people who moved on and left them. This is not an attempt to evade responsibility or languish in apathy. I AM aware that all I experience and perceive is what mind has made and I direct it so that I can use its power.
It is time that we took control of our most powerful tool and used it to create the reality our hearts desire. This is not work that lies in the future; it is an opportunity that's present now, in every moment of the living experience. It does not exist "out there" somewhere; it exists within. Let's direct the mind to think of and envision peace, safety and care for all of the creatures in the dream. Let's harmonize with the reference state of love. We may not be able to reach out and catch every hand that would strike against a dog but we do have the power to create a reality in which such acts will vanish. We can control our thoughts, our mental pictures and our feelings. With a little training, it's amazing what the mind can achieve. After all, it created the very same reality that we live in today – the one that we resist and wish was different.