Mindfulness in the time of conflict

After a friend’s clinical diagnosis, I’ve never used the word lightly, but since Friday, I can say that I’ve been feeling depressed about current events. Having cut myself off Facebook and local news may have been a step in the right direction, according to this article, A Buddhist monk explains mindfulness for times of conflict, on Vox.

“Take care of those emotions first; it’s the priority. Because anything that comes from a place of fear and anxiety and anger will only make the fire worse. Come back and find a place of calm and peace to cool the flame of emotion down.”

Other choice quotes:

  • Engage in protest, but not from a place of anger. You need to express your opinion, and you need to go out there and say this is wrong. But don’t do it by saying hateful things.
  • Compassion is not sitting in your room; it’s actually very active and engaging.
  • Go take refuge in nature, and find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive and in despair. This is the medicine. We go out and we help.
  • Community practice is crucial at this time. It’s crucial not to be alone in front of the computer, reading media. That makes the world dark for you. Find flesh. There are still wonderful things happening.

I don’t necessarily agree 100-percent. I certainly cannot just bite my tongue or “find the good qualities” of a racist person (and maybe I’ll never find the clarity in that), but it’s a good, if not important, read.


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