One of the hardest "assignments" we used to give to the
students our classes was to try to not say anything
negative for a period of two hours on one day of a
week, or for a whole day, or if they feel strong and
brave, for a whole week. Invariably, this exercise is
a tremendous learning experience for everyone who tries
it. Reports of astonishment at how often the urge to
comment negatively happens habitually are common, as
is the feeling of embarrassment at one's own behavior
and frustration at being unable to stop it. It's always
alot of fun when the class reports their experiences.
Some common themes occur, such as verbalizing negatively
every time you talk to a teenage son or daughter, the
impulse to mutter behind their back at a co-worker
(especially the boss), and the compulsive snotty retort
to a criticizing parent or in-law.
Please try this wonderful educational meditation. You
will witness yourself acting in ways that will amaze
you. Just by seeing your habitual reactivity, you will
be on the road to changing for the better. You've spent
huge amounts of time and squandered enormous amounts
of energy in negativity. As you will learn from observation
and objective analysis, it is very rare to have improved
any situation by injecting negativity into it. It is
much more commonly a stimulus for making things worse.
By doing this exercise, you will be ready to appreciate
the wisdom of the concept that before every negative action,
there are negative words, and before the negative words,
there are negative thoughts. The meditator can interrupt
this process by witnessing every action, every word, and
every thought. If you can witness the thought, if it arises
and you recognize it as negative, you can simply not allow uncontrolled negative words to occur. If you can't stop it
on the level of stopping the negative words to come out, at
least you should recognize when you are verbalizing negatively
and be able to stop yourself from actually acting out negatively.
Be gentle with yourself when you witness yourself being
negative. Don't be negative about your negativity. Just
observe the behavior, say "Oh, well", and go back to
witnessing. Don't allow further inner commentary, comparisons, analyzations, or judgements; just witness. Begin to let
"Oh, well", become a sort of shorthand for forgiving and
reprimanding yourself and know nothing else is necessary
and will needlessly drain you of energy and peace.
Just by doing the witnessing, you will be doing many positive
things. Most importantly, you will be at one with your
Real Self, because that is what, within you, does the
witnessing. Any time you are at one with your Real Self,
you can be at one with all your Real Self is at one with
and that is All Reality, for your Real Self is really at
one with everyone and everything. Ultimately, there is only
one Real Self and it is within all, everyone, and everything. Secondly, the more you witness your negativity, the less you
will be negative. It's sort of like you've been unconsciously stepping on your own spiritual toes and once you realize it,
you cease to do it and ever after cease having pain in your
foot and tripping and falling on your face spiritually.
Anyway, you'll definitely have a few good laughs at how
silly your behavior is, when uncontrolled, and start to
be less and less negative and more and more at peace.
Eventually, you will live happily ever after.