My thoughts are not always kind—towards others or myself.
Despite my daily practice, I’m the first to admit how easily I fall into forgetfulness.
I have no lack of goodness surrounding me. Every day on the way to work, I drive through a breathtaking forest landscape. The land rolls and plunges. Rich green trees rise over packed earth and red granite. On a typical morning, I encounter deer running along the road, rabbits racing beside my car, and countless daredevil chipmunks playing a game of chicken with me. The air is perfumed with the incense of all the flowering plants—it’s intoxicating.
I live in paradise, but I can still get depressed, angry, and obsessed with the small stuff.
At times, I find myself caught up in thoughts of a difficult client at work, something I shouldn’t have said, or some recent life drama. When I focus on the microcosm, it tends to make my circular thought process worse and my mood darker.
My mind makes up scenarios about conflicts and unfairness galore, how I’m an incompetent moron, or how the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
I know these thoughts just compound the negative energy of a situation. I know they’re not helpful. But my ego-mind, trying to protect me, works in a circular fashion, and it’s hard to escape the cycle.
When my mind gets into one of these ruts, I use mantra to help me bust out.
Mantra is the repetition of a sacred sound or phrase. My favourite mantras are what the ancient Celts called an sidhe (pronounced ‘on shee’), roughly meaning in sync or in empathy—one with the wild world around us.
When I’m feeling small and mean, there’s nothing like saying over and over to myself: loka samasta sukhino bhavantu – may all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words and deeds contribute in some small way to that freedom and happiness.
This mantra breaks my negative spin.
If my dear little mind can say I’m so pissed, I’m so worried, I’m so anxious over and over again, why can’t it manage the opposite?
Practising the loka allows me to re-program my thought patterns in an authentic way. It helps me become more kind to myself and other beings—even when I don’t start out feeling that way. I’m never going to be perfect, but without question I can practice. I can drive slower, breathe deeper, and put my energy into something positive.
The loka is not an absolute fix.
Life keeps tossing out the challenges. Some days, the best I can do is NOT CAUSE HARM. I might not be meeting my own grand expectations of becoming a compassionate being to all other creatures, but hey, I can make a start.
I am loved. I am protected. I am walking my path. I will try not to do harm. That is all that I can do.
Spirit is always holding us and guiding us. When we’re bumbling along, trying to find our way, there is grace all around us. Sometimes the best we can do is focus on avoiding harm.
We can focus on the vibrations of our thoughts, words, and deeds, becoming aware of them and of what we’re putting into the big ole spaghetti sauce of the Cosmos.
In my bumbling about, I stumble often. But if I can be kind enough to myself to allow these missteps and learn from them, maybe I can be a little happier and freer, and maybe I can recognize this in others who are bumbling along beside me.
What have you stumbled over lately that makes you feel small or mean? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll give you a mini-shamanic reading for support.
Peace and luvinz to all,
K-Bhava, Kristi Corlett