I want to start this post by sharing with you an excerpt from one of my favorite books, Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein.
Our practice also benefits others through the transformation of how we are in the world. If we are more accepting, more peaceful, less judgmental, less selfish, then the whole world is that much more loving and peaceful, that much less judgmental and selfish. Our mind-body is a vibrating, resonating energy system. Of necessity, how we are affects everyone around us. On a boat in the middle of a great storm, one wise, calm person can bring everyone to safety. The world is like that boat, tossed by the storms of greed and hatred and fear. Can we be one of those people who help to keep it safe?
When I read this, I fully realized that meditation is not just for me, but for the world itself.
Instead of spending my precious time worrying and being filled with hate and fear, it makes more sense to train my mind to be in a state of peace. That way I am more of benefit to whoever needs me.
One of the reasons why I was so afraid of practising meditation was that I didn’t want to become soft and careless. I was afraid that meditation will turn me into a person that doesn’t care about anything.
The opposite is true.
- Meditation makes you more aware of the states in your mind that are keeping you from being more of service to the planet. When you are afraid, you are not active.
- Meditation helps you focus on what matters. Instead of being bombarded with news all day long, you are mindful of what you pay attention to.
- Those who need your help are not in need of people who are filled with hate and rage; they are in need of people who care and who trust in the power of a spoken word wrapped in compassion and loving-kindness.
As an animal rights activist, I used to be very attached to what was happening to my fellow animals. I was so attached to the cruelty that was occurring every second of the day – it still does.
But as I started to meditate and my mindset changed, I found myself being more loving when faced with bad news. I realized I was not hurt anymore to the same extent as I was in the past.
Now I was mindful of the evil in the world but I knew me being angry won’t do anything to change it. I cannot be of service to my fellow animals and to Mother Earth if my heart is filled with hate and all I can think about is how evil the wrong-doers are.
The world benefits when you meditate because you are bringing light instead of darkness. People are inspired after seeing your content, not depressed. The world has one more person who is choosing compassion and peace over war and hate.
It won’t always be easy and we will let our minds trick us into thinking fear and hate are the answer but the more we practice the stronger we get at focusing our attention to the source of life – our breath.
When I am focused on how I feel in each moment, on my movements and the way air fills my lungs, I am in control of what I put out in the world. I can choose in each moment to be active in peace, not active in anger.
To serve the world and others doesn’t mean you need to be angry; you just need to be of service. Because a starving dog on the street doesn’t need you to be angry at whoever abandoned him, he just needs you to help him.
To learn how to help and be inspired by the actions of other people, make sure to follow me on Instagram where I share daily tips and inspiration for my fellow animal rights activists and environmentalists.