How do we remain mindful within our anger and righteousness?

So it turns out there’s no rule book to take with you in life that says, “When I get into this condition, do this.” My rule is actually really simple, I continually work to quiet my mind, to stay mindful.

I continue to work to soften my heart, to stay ‘heartfelt.’ I work as well as I can to keep the energies moving in my system. I mean this is energy. I am constantly opening and watching and listening and tuning. I am listening my way into the universe. I am hearing my way, not listening actually.

You can feel that when you really listen, you almost start to dissolve into the other person’s storyline. You can feel that when you really listen, you tune your way into the universe, and when the fear arises, you sit with it. I sit with it and I don’t push it away. I don’t grab at it. I know what my limits are, and I often say, “I can’t handle that one just yet,” and I don’t end up feeling guilty about it.

I stopped holding myself to a standard of where I should be as a means of beating myself up when I’m not there.

Don’t turn the spiritual journey into another psychological thing to prove you are a victim, or you are somehow inadequate, or impotent or incompetent, or something. You can do it if you want to, but it’s really not that much fun to go about it that way. You want to go from using the spiritual journey in the service of your psycho-dynamics, in the service of your ego, to using your psychodynamics in the service of the spiritual thing.

In other words, I can use my anger to liberate me now, when before I used my righteous desire to show how good I was, which was an ego trip, and in answer to the question, “Who am I?” My usual answer now is that I don’t know. I don’t know, and it’s interesting that that part of me that wants to know, also just doesn’t really care now. I don’t know why, but all I know is that at this moment this feels fine.

However, if this were two in the morning, it probably wouldn’t. I may be sitting here alone, talking to myself and maybe someone would come along. It would be a new moment, a special moment, and maybe I’d keep talking, maybe we would start a conversation that would change how I feel. I don’t know, but at some moment, a set of events will transpire and this feeling will stop, and then I will come back to it again.

So I think from a political, social point of view, what you find is that in every walk of life, there are people who recognize the predicament, and that’s what you really end up doing, is hanging out with people who recognize the predicament, and then you do what you can do.


-Ram Dass

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