Yoga Life: Mindfulness Meditation teaches us not to carry hatred

Malhotra

During our December 2017 to January 2018 trip to the Ninash’s schools in India, I had a nice visit with my older brother, a wise man. His insightful stories were as instructive as that of Grandpa Chopra’s. We conversed about the Buddha’s Mindfulness Meditation as one of the ways to handle our emotions of anger, fear and hatred.

My brother had heard an Indian story on hatred and the damage it can do to our psyche and suggested that it would make an excellent Yoga Life column. I thought about the story and felt that people learn to hate through their upbringing in a family and society. When we pay attention to it, this emotion will lose its hold on us.

A story on hate:

A third grade teacher asked her students to tell her how many people they hated. The kids raised their hands and pointed out that some hated only one, a few hated two and others more than two.

The teacher told the children to get one tomato for each person they hated and then instructed them to carry these tomatoes with them each day.

When a few days passed, the tomatoes started to rot.

Feeling this stench unbearable, the children came back to their teacher and said: “These tomatoes smell horrible. We cannot handle this disgusting odor anymore.” The teacher said: “These tomatoes are like hate that you have in your heart. After a few days of carrying, it starts stinking so much that it becomes intolerable.” By transporting those rotten tomatoes, the children learned their lesson of not carrying hatred within because it becomes malodorous, polluting everything around them and their entire being.

Systematic Relaxation

Caution: This exercise is a suggestion only. If done on a regular basis. It might help.

Lie down on your back. Relax your body on a mat, carpet or bed. Let your arms rest next to your body. Close your eyes by breathing in and out.

Become aware of your fingers. Squeeze them tightly by making fists. As you clutch them, breathe out. After counting five, relax your fingers by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your eyes. Squeeze them tightly while breathing out. After counting five, relax your eyes by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your lips. Give a big grin while breathing out. After counting five, relax your lips by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your chin. Press it against your chest, while breathing out. After counting five, relax your chin by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your shoulder blades. Press them against the ground, while you breathe out. After counting five, relax your shoulders by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your lower back. Press it against the ground, while you breathe out. After counting five, relax your lower back by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your hips. Press them against the ground, while you breathe out. After counting five, relax your hips by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your legs. Press them against the ground, while breathe out. After counting five, relax your legs by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Become aware of your feet. Point them away from your body while you breathe out. After counting five, relax your feet by breathing in. Do this exercise twice.

Now observe your entire body. It is relaxed. Breathe in and out and enjoy this peaceful feeling.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra has been a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He is Emeritus SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy and founder of the Yoga and Meditation Society at SUNY Oneonta. His “Yoga for Relaxation” is available on YouTube under “Ashok K Malhotra Yoga Institute Interviews” and books through www.amazon.com and Kindle. Malhotra contributes all his royalties to the Ninash Foundation that builds schools for the under-served minority children of India.

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