A Pure Mind is a Loving Mind

This statement is a fact I’ve learned through my meditation practice. If this fact was universally understood, the way the world functions would change. The movies in our society support the idea that there is good and evil everywhere. The good guys my face the bad guys, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many superhero movies. But if we truly believed that at the core of every person was a loving human being, we could no longer treat certain individuals like they’re innately bad.

Upon analysis of my own body through Vipassana I’ve discovered both good and bad intentions. I’ve also experience the negative intentions become weaker and less frequent as I continue with my practice. This process allows the warm, loving part of myself to more freely resonate outwards. Essentially, the evil parts of myself are simply buried impurities within my mind. It seems logical that the evil in all people is simply buried impurities in their minds.

If, as a community, we first believe that a pure mind is a loving mind, and second that meditation is a tool to help purify the mind, we would stop trying to isolate and contain people who commit evil acts through prisons or other means. We would instead work to help people face the impurities within their minds to help release the loving nature inside of them.

The punitive nature of our discipline may methodically enhance the impurities of a punished person. The harsh environment of prison fosters anger and hatred towards a system that has thrown them away. What if a criminal was encouraged by a society that believed they could change through hard work. What if society accepted these individuals for who they are today, impurities and all, and helped them learn how to love themselves. What kind of impact would this make on the systems of our society? Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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