Why did our Buddha nature allow this to happen? Because although perfectly formed at birth, it needed to be nourished by love to strengthen its roots, but instead our learned experience planted and nourished negative seeds such as insecurity, anger, envy … all our emotions, judgments, and attachments.
How then do we practically implement our ability to be in control of whether we experience peace and happiness or suffer (the previous post, "You Can Be in Control")? The literature is full of suggestions of how to let go and not engage the emotions, judgments, and attachments that flow from our ego-mind. My experience is that such methods are often effective with specific target issues when coupled with replacing the negativity with positive thoughts, for example “it’s just the way it is,” or “all will be well,” or “I am there for myself,” or “I have compassion for …”
But when it comes to exercising control over our general ambiance as we go through the day, the mental environment we inhabit, I found that I was still reacting to the negative energy around me with a feeling of blahness. Once I meditated on opening my heart to embrace all aspects of my being and experience, this feeling of blahness started leaving me and I felt myself smiling more as I went about my day. (See my post, “The Heart’s Embrace.”)
Then the other day, I was at the gym and became aware that I was in a very blah frame of mind caused in part by the atmosphere in the gym and in part because I didn’t really feel like working out that day. I was absorbing the grayness of the gym. (Funny, you’d think there would be lots of positive energy flowing in a gym; not in this case.)
It was then I realized that I could change the dynamic of this situation and all parts of my day and life if the compassion and positive energy in my heart flowed out to me and everything around me. And as I did that ... seeing everyone and everything through my heart ... the change in my spirit was palpable, supported by saying “hello” in my mind to everything and every person I saw. I also felt positive about my workout.
By greeting everything around me in this way, I was creating a positive flow of energy from my heart outward. And while that was flowing, I was not subject to any emotional reaction to the blah, negative, or dysfunctional energy of the world around me. I was aware of the way it was but I didn’t label it and my positive energy embraced it.
By directing energy to flow from my heart outward it was like creating a force field that my ego-mind and any negativity around me couldn’t penetrate. But when the energy ceased to flow, the force field was gone and I soaked up surrounding negativity like a sponge and my ego-mind reacted to it, not with agitation but with definite blahness.
In the following days, I have had the intent to observe everyone and everything (including myself) through my heart 24/7. And so I have throughout the day directed positive energy to flow from my heart, mentally saying hello to everything and everyone, and have been in a peaceful and happy state, with a smile on my face. And I have found that when I sense I am not in that space, because that positive energy isn’t flowing, I can change my mental environment on the spot by starting the flow again. At this point, this is a volitional act, but from past experience I know that at some point it will become my default way of going through the day.
This practice, together with opening up your heart to embrace all aspects of your being and experience, is how one practically turns one’s will and one’s life over to the care o your true Buddha nature.