The question is, has the world gone nuts? It certainly looks like a lot of people are being driven by fear, hatred and greed. The protests in Chicago, the rising anger and animosity, is to the detriment of us all. Is it not time for some real sanity?
Losing our sanity is about getting so absorbed in what someone else thinks that we’re no longer in touch with our own sensibility, as seen in the way Trump has manipulated the minds of so many. It’s believing that we are right so everyone else must be wrong. It’s thinking that bloodshed, violence or guns will actually solve something. It’s believing that the real enemy is ‘them’, and that by eradicating ‘them’ we make ourselves safe.
None of the above makes any sense in a sane world. Gaining our sanity means we know the difference between right and wrong, we know that two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s knowing that kindness wins every time. It’s knowing that the one who shouts the loudest invariably needs the most help. It’s knowing that sharing, communicating with, and helping each other is the best way to ensure our continued existence.
Chaos is natural—our universe is organized chaos—so to find our sanity in the midst of this is vital. Life is unpredictable, everything is constantly changing, the only security is knowing there is none. A renown meditation teacher once said that there should be no difference between meditating in a cave or in the chaos of a city, as stillness is inside us and not dependent on external circumstances.
Although this is undoubtedly true, it is definitely put to the test when our lives are full of uncertainty, fear or unrest. Maintaining our sanity and inner peace means having an attitude of non-grasping. If we hold on, whether to resentment, irritation, hurt or anger, we create suffering. Our mind gets caught up in the emotion and we lose our mental balance. Letting go doesn’t deny our feelings, but it keeps us connected to sanity.
Think of the sky that has clouds, storms, rain, snow, tornados, lightening, thunder, yet behind all that is the sky, unchanging. Or think of the water in a lake. When the water is calm we can see the depths below, but when it is disturbed we get caught up in the waves and turmoil. Beneath our tears and grief, beneath the dramas and conflicts, there is a very sane, still and calm place we can rest in.
Just Being Meditation
Find a comfortable place to sit, and close your eyes. Become aware of yourself, of your presence on the chair in the room.
Follow the flow of your breath as it enters and leaves. You are breathing … sensing … heart beating … feet on the floor. Be present with yourself and whatever is happening in the moment.
Sit and breathe … just sitting … just being… just breathing. Silently repeat, “May all things be well, may I be at peace with all beings.”
Stay with this for a few minutes, or for as long as you like. When you are ready take a deep breath and gently open your eyes.