I went to a meditation class at the Science of Spirituality in Naperville, IL. They spoke of ways to make your meditation practice stronger. One way of which they spoke is to lead an ethical life. Most religions also emphasize the importance of ethical living.
Why an ethical life? An ethical life quiets the noise in the mind. When you know you aren’t lying, cheating, or purposely harming other living things, you don’t have to look over your shoulder. You can look straight ahead through the third eye, the window to the soul, to find God there waiting.
In the book Meditation, Mindfulness, and Mind Fitness by Levy and Levy they speak of becoming right with your relations. They are basically telling you to create less noise in your world. Drama in your relationships causes noise in your mind. This sucks the life-energy right out of your meditation.
This is not to say that you will never have disagreements in relationships or drama in your life, but you can purposely choose to create a life for yourself that has less of these things. You can turn down the volume on this external chatter and turn up the volume on your spiritual world.
My husband and I recently started watching The Sopranos (15 years late, I know), a drama TV show from the 1990’s about the Italian Mafia. Tony Soprano is the main character in the show. Every episode has him visiting his psychiatrist (and therapist). Tony Soprano suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. He is always looking over his shoulder.
We aren’t too far into the show, but I find myself wondering how Tony’s therapist is going to help him. A life of crime will lead to anxiety and panic attacks. I mentioned in a previous post how the younger guy in the show (also a mafia member) is so depressed that he can’t face the monotony of every day life. He has PTSD and nightmares about murders he’s committed. When he goes to one of his elders for advice, he is told: “That happens at the beginning. The more you kill, those nightmares go away.”
Obviously the show is trying to poke fun at some of the life of crime, but is this so far off? Many times we think that our ticket to freedom is suppressing our emotions by doing more of what caused the negative emotions in the first place.
What is the answer to end the young man’s nightmares? STOP KILLING. Change your life. Set things right.
What is the answer to end our nightmares? Stop hurting ourselves and others through words, thoughts, and actions. Change our lives. Set things right, so we can gaze upon the horizon in peace.
Peace and Love (even for The Sopranos),
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