If the West favours the left-handed, logic and analytical side of the brain and the East favours the creative, spiritual and feeling-centered side of the brain, then it’s no surprise that in the West, we approach our problems all too often with cool logic and analysis. That’s not to say that these approaches are valid and appropriate in many problem-solving situations in life, but when it comes to patterns of behaviour and trapped emotions, the best option available is actually often completely the opposite. Instead of burying ourselves in countless counseling sessions and trying to claw our way out of the labyrinth fruitless style, sometimes we just need to rise above it like a hawk and drop all of our problems at once.
If there could be one ‘higher purpose’ for meditation – higher than relaxing, enhancing our health or improving concentration – it’s this. Untangling ourselves from the over-use of our minds and just letting all those years of effort simply melt away, we are able to see that there really wasn’t any problem there in the first place. Lifting persistent burdens on our emotional well-being, not to mention our time and energy leave us free to focus on what we really want to make our lives all about. In other words, this practice really can change our lives… not to mention shift dull stagnant karmic patterns that may have been tying themselves in knots for lifetimes. So how do we hope to achieve such a leap in habits? And how can we bring this, not into detachment but a more loving approach to how we interact with each other?
Let’s look at an example. How about you know you’ve had an inkling for centuries that you may have it in you to be ‘the one’. You have leadership skills and an innate energy and power bubbling up from your very source that screams of revolution and healing on a grand scale. But you feel isolated from others. Worse than that you seem to alienate people with your ‘weirdness’; perhaps you are missing some social skills or have some gaps in your development (brought about by those deeply scarring years of suffering that make you such a potentially awesome revolutionary in the first place). Basically you feel stuck.
Your karmic pattern will draw you further and further away from others, perhaps isolate you to the point that you completely shut yourself off from others emotionally. No-one gets you, you carry out your life like a robot pretending to fit in and before you know it, you’ve hardened your heart and suppressed your deepest desires entirely. This can go pretty far down the road before you’ll even realize you need to do something about it, but you can as sure as anything that the only way to airlift your way out of it is to radiate pure love. Hiding from others is the usual slippery slope of the sensitive, often a tragic life story that befalls many healers and light-beings. We simply can’t cope with the daily deception and cruelty those around us treat each other to. The key is, in all our potent potential as healers, is actually not to try.
No-one listens to the preacher unless they’ve had the inclination to walk up to their front garden and push their doorbell. Live your life with pure love and compassion and others will seek you out. There are a thousand and one ways to do this; practicing self love, living a life of mindfulness… but the truth is it’ll still be nitty gritty and like wading through custard unless you make the leap. Meditating on death can help us do this. Imagining what the world would be like without you in it. Sounds morbid… But actually it can be incredibly humbling and aid in leaps and bounds to reigniting your inner flame – it can give you the jolt you need to join forces with your higher self and start radiating. Another example: Say you have been ‘normal’ your whole life; you’ve followed the rules, you’ve done take-the-leapeverything your parents expected of you, but you are filled with a deep self-loathing. Perhaps you desire to be talented and wish you had taken up a career in something entirely different to what you ended up focusing on. Or perhaps your life has been such a patchwork of different things that you have no real focus and feel like you’ve wasted every phase of your life so far. Either way, you’re treading water.
This karmic pattern takes great courage. You have to locate what terrifies you more than anything… and then do exactly that. The only way to make the ‘leap’ out of the mundane, is to leap from the frying pan into the fire. Danger and thrill (without hurting ourselves of course) wakes up the soul like no other. This can help us step out of the cycle of samsara for at least a moment, giving us a taste of what it’d be like to shake up the system that we will savour for the rest of our lives. The trick is of course to not let it only be that one off year cycling across Europe, but make it a life-long habit. There is no higher love like being present and doing something new and exciting every day of your life. It helps us share, it helps us laugh. It helps us become more well-rounded and worldly wise mindful and loving beings. That is living in the moment. That is non-mind and honouring life. My final example can be applied to any interaction we have in our daily lives and applies to all in the plethora of people that make up our species. Having said that this is especially for those who are tied-up hand and foot with karma in our relationships, and not just romantic ones. Our relationships and the mirrors we meet and interact with day in day out can make the difference between a life in heaven and a life in hell. Relationships are extremely challenging, especially for those who have more than a couple of karmic contracts to smooth out. For those looking to transcend and melt their karmic patterns into pure love in their relationships with others, the only way out is to reflect (if we indeed are all mirrors) that love back to them. This can take a hell of a lot of practice as the ego likes to connect everything to itself. To the ego, everything is personal. Why did she frown at me? Why does my father always put me down like that? What is my partner’s issue with me outshining him? Why does my sister constantly treat me like a child? The list is endless, but the key? Not to take anything personally.
If we are One and our souls merely a fragment of the Divine Source, then it’s really true isn’t it; our light is one and the same, and what hurts you is really hurting me. Interdependence is quite a difficult one to get one’s head around, but you can see it in terms of any chain reaction analogy. As individuals we are the same; not better or worse than one another. But it’s better to be a flame than a deadened match head. If you have uncovered the higher love by not taking anything personally then your light will spread to all those other match heads as soon as they touch. Continue to take things personally and act from a place of ego, then yours and everyone else’s match heads will continue to go on striking themselves fruitlessly against anything they can find without ever lighting up, and no-one becomes any wiser. Pure love is always there for us, waiting to be uncovered. Our karma can hold us in its clutches for lifetimes more, or… what the hell? We can shake out our feathers and do something spectacular. Whether it is doing something that scares you, not taking anything personally or meditating on death every morning, do whatever you can to make that leap into the higher love. Because the world needs you. We’re only just getting started.