Spotlight

How to Deal with Hate

Some people wonder aloud to me how I can do my job all day. How am I not bored to tears and tired?

I say how lucky I am. How I spend my days in a peaceful environment,

(except for that vile machine that blows leaves from one person’s yard into their neighbor’s)

with nice people, no one complaining, everyone happy to see me!

But let me tell you a secret: sometimes there are nasty people, and then I am stuck in the room for an hour almost choking on the hate that comes seeping from their skin.

This does not happen to me too often. My skin and aura are thick now, so the ones like that come in once and only once. They can smell my sir-don’t-fck-with-my-peace-and-love-vibe vibe.

They pay and hurry out the door. They are the first to unsubscribe next time I send a group email ;-) Not in my group. Bye.

Back in my first massage practice in Seattle, people DID get under my skin. There was a gentleman I will never forget.  I dreaded his weekly visit. If I were capable of hate, I hated this man. He oozed hate and I hated that.

(Imagine that, wasting my precious time on earth hating on hateful people. And leaf-blowing machines.)

He talked for 90 minutes about how he hated his wife and how his kids ruined his life. Every day his family ruined his life. He had the worst life.

I used to imagine his red contorted face down there in the hole of the head rest.

He would upset himself so much that he would have to force himself to stop ranting long enough to breathe. He had learned ujaii breathing in yoga class, lord help us, and he sounded like a large, mortally wounded thing that wouldn’t, for the love of everything holy, just die.

(Did you ever see the movie Alive? The poor injured woman they all wanted to kill because she screamed in incessant pain? That was the situation inside my treatment room.)

The owner of the gym had her office next to mine. I feared she might end my lease due to whatever practice I might be conducting in there to produce such unsettling noises.

There is a reason I’m telling you about this wretched man:

There was a tough occurrence with some Nazis in America this week. People are outraged. Some don’t know what to do with that anger and hate.

I want to suggest that it might be normal to be upset, and yet unnecessary to let your heart be destroyed.

Ugly rarely enters my treatment room because I have meditated on love for 20 years. (That’s what I do when I’m working, in answer to the question of how I could possibly tolerate a job like mine.)

(Ok sometimes I think about how I hate cooking and still have to eat, or about a painful relationship. I’m human and 20 years in a long time to meditate without stopping!)

So here in the golden years of my massage practice, I feel it my duty to pass on that skill of meditation that has removed the ugly from my life. Not removed it, but given me a means for handling it, for not letting it eat me alive. (Sometimes it does remove it, though.)

I admire this teacher, Frans Steine. His guest blogger, Sundar Kadayam, explains it better than I can. I changed the title for my own purposes but here it is:

How to Deal with Nazis in America and Other Ugly Things. Well, one only way to deal with it, of course. Read it. See if it grabs you. If it does, let me know when you want to start meditating.

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