Human Beings Have Trouble BEING Human –
Some Sound Advice from Dr Anthony Quintiliani
The world today appears to be even more destructive than ever before in human history. However, historians and violence researchers inform us that we as average persons are safer today than we were in the past. Finger-tip access to world-wide media leads us into the conclusion that the whole world is falling apart. In some cases, it is! Let’s look at some obvious problems, problems especially current in the United States. In my opinion massive mindfulness and wise mind adoption and regular practice in our culture may be an answer to the turmoil we face. Here is a short list of OUR problems.
Problems We Face Are:
Rugged individualism, sometimes over-dependency, a separate self, material gain and greed, rising fear, rising intolerance, strong striving, learned helplessness, I/me/my entitlement, narcissism, conditioned limbic dominance, norms of defensiveness, the GREAT rush, craving and desiring, corruption of power and money, corporate influence in government, more smartphone less face-to-face communication, greed-based climate change, endless wars, Big Pharma-made opioid overdose crisis, increased white working class premature deaths, growing personal and national debt, earlier onset of serious mental illness in children and youth, earlier onset of suicide risk, weak self-esteem, earlier onset of medications use in children and youth, declining standard of living, racial and ethnic hatred, increased mental illness in college-aged populations, declining physical health status, an inner emptiness for many, loss of hope for many, more anxiety, depression, trauma, and substance misuse, rampant self-medication for short-term relief of our suffering, etc.
Need I go on? Hopefully not. These are the more severe norms of American suffering.
Yet in spite of this cultural mess we still produce vast achievements, great wealth, many goods, vast opportunities, strong caring, generosity, philanthropy, and HOPE for so, so many people who wish to come here to improve their lives.
Mindfulness and Wise Mind Traditions That Can Help Us –
Some Common Outcomes from REGULAR Practice of Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga, Even Exercise Are:
Mindfulness awareness, improved attention, improved concentration, the ability to pause before reacting, emotional slowing, inner calm, compassion, self-compassion, executive strengthening, limbic weakening, mindful responding, kindness, impermanence, interbeing – the Golden Rule, dependent arising, no independent self, non-material authentic happiness, contentment, skillful reduction of suffering, ultimate emptiness (non-nihilistic), personal responsibility for doing good, etc. etc. I will not continue the list. You get the picture.
It is highly unlikely that American leaders will guide us into becoming a nation of reasonable, mindful beings. However, we as individuals and groups may pursue life-changing opportunities through the regular practice of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, etc. Such practices and skills will improve our inner emotional lives and inner/outer peace. Yes, this is possible. If you doubt it, search the many, many research studies on the positive effects of mindfulness, meditation, yoga and exercise. I dare you to try!!!! Go ahead. You have nothing to lose.
For more information refer to Alper, S. A. (2016). Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy…Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
By Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Author of Mindful Happiness
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