As I was checking in with people this last week, a common theme emerged. People were dismayed by the hate they perceived filling the national consciousness. What can we do when we are overwhelmed by this consciousness of hate? The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali tell us to cultivate the opposite. “When the mind is disturbed by negative thoughts, one should dwell on their opposites.” When our individual or national mind is disturbed by hate, we can cultivate love.
A quote attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. tells us “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In the Dhammapada, the Buddha tells us “In this world, hate never dispelled hate. Only love can dispel hate. That is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.” And in her teachings Yogacharya O’Brian calls upon us to “Be the leading edge of love” and to “Love everyone regardless. Why? Because Love is the truth of our being. The only way to realize it is to bring it forth”.
As we go about our days, let us remember to cultivate love as we interact with others and the world, dissolving the walls between us. Let us be the leading edge of love as that is the only thing that can dispel hate.
Rev. Nita Shankari Kenyon