Mental Health - Inner Disarmament

Buddhist Offerings 365 Days - Quote Of The Week

Let us advocate what I shall call inner disarmament through the reduction of our hatred and the promotion of compassion.

- The 14th Dalai Lama


Inner Disarmament! Have you ever heard two such powerful words? Those two words together knocked me for six. I did some research on this after I read them and I found this beautiful website by Ellen Fein, a lady who I believe has now died of cancer, but who speaks also about inner disarmament. Her friends are keeping her spirit and wisdom alive. See: http://www.breathe2change.com


I realise that when certain feelings arise in me (hate, anger, and - what is all too easy - turning people into "others" for any reason), I lose my ability to hear what is being said, to understand the emotions present in the discussion, and to even imagine common ground. So real change starts with me and with each of us.


The first step for me is to notice the feelings and identify them. If I am really paying attention, I can catch myself before the feelings are in control of my mind, my mouth, and my actions. If I find myself wrapped up in a self-righteous story or justification for why someone else is wrong, I know I have to stop. If and when I truly listen, I am often surprised and moved by what I hear.


Does inner disarmament interest you? Consider this first step: Pause when you move towards or are already in a state of anger or agitation towards another person. In this moment of pausing, notice what you are feeling. You do not need to change anything but as you listen, recognize that your thoughts are coloured by this emotion and just see what happens.


You may be tempted to dismiss this idea as naive. I am not saying there are not hateful words and behavior. But that is not all that is there. And if we act from our own anger or hatred, there is no chance we can change anything.

#innerdisarmament #whyogablog #ellenfein


Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash