The Olympic Game reminds us our ties to all living beings
Many of us enjoyed watching the Tokyo Olympic Game that was closed on 8 August. In the closing ceremony, watching the athletes of the participating countries on the stage celebrating reminds us that we are interdependent beings in this world. Throughout the 16 days, we enjoyed supporting the athletes from our hometowns or countries. We felt more connected with each other through appreciating humanity, love and hope when we watched or read about touching stories behind the competition stages. Apart from celebrating success of the medalists of our hometowns or countries, we also expressed our compassion and support towards those who did not win the games but spent the last five years in training with grit to attend this event. How can we continue to cultivate this connection with all living beings and the reality?
In our daily lives, we always strive for achievements or meeting the demands of our work or family. We frequently are preoccupied by our fear of negative judgment by others and worry about facing uncertainties in our future. We are constantly living in our own created world full of distortions, worries and preconceptions. As a result, we are disconnected with the reality and other living beings. When we holds distorted beliefs about others judging or negatively evaluating us, we may isolate ourselves from others. We also become alienated from our present moment experiences and be trapped in our automation in reacting according to our distorted beliefs. For instance, when we tended to mindread our friends for rejecting us by not replying our text messages, our beliefs might make us wanting to isolating ourselves from them. We might decide to text him or her less to avoid feeling rejected. This could lead to more intense feeling of isolation. How can we prevent ourselves being trapped in this vicious cycle of alienating ourselves related to being imprisoned by our own created world in our mind?
The answer to this question is to leave this preoccupying state of the mind and stay present in our consciousness. When we pay attention to our present moment experience, we are experiencing the reality with our openmindedness. By being awaken in this way, we see the reality in clarity and feel connected with others and our environment. To be able to do this, we need pay attention to our preoccupations and distorted beliefs. For example, when we felt upset about our friend ignored our text messages, we brought our awareness to our thinking when we were experiencing negative emotions. Through mindful awareness, we allow what we are experiencing, including our distortion in thinking and negative emotions. This means that we experience our own created world in our mind and its associated body sensations with acceptance.
When we are being able to hold and allow what is happening inside us at the present moment, we can step back and reexamine our own created world in our mind. We could question the validity of our thinking, worries or preconception. In the example above, when we embraced our negative emotions related to a friend ignoring our text messages, we might be able to think of other possible explanations apart from him or her rejecting us. He or she might be very busy with one’s work recently or facing troubles with one’s kids. As a result, we could ask ourselves what could we do in the present moment. We might leave our friend alone and consider texting him or her next week once more. We might also contact other friends in the same circle to ask about this friend’s current situation. Sometimes, however, we might find out that this friend might actually ignoring us due to some unknown reasons. At this point, we need to be compassionate to our experience at the present moment. We take care of ourselves by giving what we need most, such as telling ourselves that it is okay to feel being rejected and reach out to some other friends for support and care.
In fact, everyone of us experience negative emotions and challenges in our lives. By staying present and paying attention to our distorted beliefs, worries or preconception, we cultivate connection with others and our environment with wakefulness. Even though the Tokyo Olympic game has come to an end, we can continue the spirit of unity of human race with love and hope.