This is a re-post from an article I found. It is written by Lodoro Rinzler, the co-founder of MNDFL meditation in New York City. It is a really well written article and I agree with many of his insights. Lets welcome the new year with thoughts of Love...
"This has been a beast of a year. Political tension, threat of nuclear war, rampant racism, gun violence, violence against women, you name it. I’m exhausted even writing those words. As co-founder of MNDFL meditation studios I’ve noticed that I’m not alone in feeling this way. In a time of increasing divisiveness and aggression, people are seeking out safe spaces like ours to simply take a breath and recharge their emotional batteries.I will remember 2017 as a year where I attempted to cultivate love in the face of seemingly ever-increasing levels of hate, but it’s been a struggle. “Sure,” you might think, “meditation is a great tool to teach people how to love a bit more.” Each time you get distracted from the object of your meditation, you have this incredible opportunity to offer yourself a moment of kindness and forgiveness—it’s not a big deal that you got distracted—and then you start anew. But offering yourself love in that moment is just one part of the equation.
I worry sometimes that meditation, as it goes more and more mainstream, will get degraded to the point where people think it’s 100 percent sunshine and unicorns. That if you sit down on the meditation cushion and realize that you’re actually having a hard time with the state of society or your own mind, that you’re feeling a little sad or worn-out, it means that you’re doing it wrong. I worry that people think meditation is all about only feeling good, never feeling bad, or that you should feel just as refreshed at the end of a session as you would if you had a massage.
But that’s not how it works. Meditation makes us see the totality of our humanity, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yet, as we sit there with all of who we are on a given day, we sit there and offer ourselves love. The more we cultivate these qualities of love, patience, and understanding with ourselves on the meditation seat, the more we’ll be better prepared to show up for others and wield those qualities as the very tools this society needs.
Self-care is important, but if we indulge in it to the point where we live on the yoga mat, meditation cushion, or massage table and never step up to help the society around us, we are missing a big opportunity. We can transform this world. It’s not just politicians or celebrities that wield influence—it’s us. It’s each one of us, in this moment, offering ourselves love but then stepping outside our comfort zone to have conversations that matter, offering our loving presence in each one until the tide of hate recedes. Let’s make 2018 the Year of Love."