Jul 29, 2014 More on the power of positive energy
I do not take quickly to metaphysical concepts. That helps explain why I became an agnostic by age eleven, perhaps spurred all the more by the boredom I felt so often when required to go weekly to religious school, and then twice weekly when adding Hebrew school and Bar Mitzvah class. I later realized that I was actually questioning the dualistic concept (not realizing what non-duality was until around 2007) of the presence of a god outside of and separate from me who was all omniscient and omnipresent. I like the Buddhist concept of non-duality, which to me in part means that we look to ourselves for our sense of well-being, understand that we are all connected and that harm to anyone is harm to all, and do not look for a deity separate from ourselves.
With my learning taijiquan starting in 1994, my teachers urged on me the reality of ch’i, which is imperfectly translated as energy that is stored in the tan t’ien and that increases as one correctly, regularly and diligently practices taijiquan. As I understand it, with taijiquan, the mind commands the ch’i, and the ch’i helps command the rest of one’s body and being. Ch’i cannot be seen, although I heard about an accomplished taijiquan practitioner who, after he left his body, was found to have a very strong tan t’ien area. Then again, the taijiquan lore includes a man who picked up a chair merely by having his energy stick to the chair, another practitioner who when sleeping apparently reached out to catch a beam that otherwise would have severely injured his family members sleeping below it, and another practitioner who figured that the dead rat that was slammed against the wall resulted from his instinctively grabbing it as he slept and throwing it against the wall.
Taijiquan, though, clearly has amazing power when practiced by the skilled, to the point that I have seen people barely able to move taijiquan master Ben Lo’s arm when he merely puts it in a relaxed position and puts his mind into his arm.
Next, I started learning four years ago about Self Identity Through Ho’oponopono, which in many ways is about achieving well-being and abundance in life by clearing out the excess data and memories in ourselves and getting to zero, starting with simply repeating to our subconscious: "Thank you; I love you; I am sorry; please forgive me." SITH master teacher Ihaleakala Hew Len claims that practicing the foregoing cleaning mantra works wonders whether or not one understands the mantra’s workings; in that regard, he wishes people peace beyond all understanding. I have twice met Dr. Hew Len; clearly he benefits tremendously from this SITH practice.
In the midst of all this, I learned from taijiquan master Benjamin Lo about the power of zero. When one is at zero, one can only be positive, because negative brings us below zero. The temptation to fall negative is great, an old habit. If a constantly negative person all of the sudden turns optimistic all the time, his or her friends, family and acquaintances might fear that this now-optimistic person has been possessed by Shirley Temple.
It is much easier, of course, to go the optimistic and positive energy route when all is looking up. However, to be pessimistic when one has health, financial, personal, psychological and other challenges will simply send one closer to a downward tailspin. Moreover, as much as I do not want to spend an evening with Shirley Temple as she presented herself as the bubbly child in films, I am no more interested in spending an evening with someone who in me-me-me fashion kvetches about all sorts of things. We all have probably been that kvetcher. People flock more often to those who are not kvetching. My clients do not want a kvetching lawyer, and I do not want a kvetching surgeon. Both groups want a can-do person who is there to help get them back towards harmony as much as possible.
Today’s blog entry was spurred by a particularly long stretch of positive thinking on my part, lasting for over a day with only the smallest of negative thoughts, which for me is an achievement, particularly as I deal with the many often unfair and unjust bows and arrows in the criminal defense arena. Today and yesterday, I drove a good distance to a courthouse in another county, and did not much notice tailgaters, drivers cutting me off, and drivers weaving all around out of impatience at my audacity to stop for stop signs and not to exceed the speed limit much. Those drivers are still out there. Those who see energy as matter might say that my positive energy means I am not attracting as much behavior from others, My more practical view is that my optimism means I am not noticing otherwise annoying behavior by others as much, and, therefore, am not reacting negatively to incur their wrathful reaction (for instance reactions were I to flip them the bird or slam my horn on them). Even as I mistakenly opened the door into a person entering the prosecutor’s suite as I was leaving it cheerfully joked whether I was truly sincere in apologizing for opening the door into her. All was going so well yesterday, in fact, that I asked my assistant how I rose from the right side of the bed. As Dr. F. Emelia Sam aptly point out, "Your thoughts create your world; Patrol your mind."
From a practical sense, then, when I resist the temptation to call a prosecutor a nazi, a judge a tyrant, a cop a lying sack of sh*t, and so on, I am staying strong and not sucking myself down to the gutter. When I vibrate positively, I am not a catalyst for others to act negatively. While it is hard for me to accept that my acting positively in Virginia is going to simultaneously make someone in Australia do the same, and to reduce the risks of hurricanes and tidal waves, there can be a domino/ripple effect to my being positive, just as there can be with my acting negatively. I do not even need to look as far as that. When I am in a state of well being, my family is happier, my staff is happier, and my clients are more content.
One would think that the concept of being positive would not require so much ink in my blog. However, I grew up seeing so much of life in shades of gray. I have come a long way from there, and still have much farther to go.