Saturday, August 6, 2011

Finding Time For Peace

In This Article By Thich Nhat Hanh he speaks of finding time in everyday life to create a Spiritual Practice.  I find it to be a really good reminder that peace is always available to us at each moment.

Too often we think that we have to make time to meditate, or be more calm, or be more Mindful.  We wait until we can squeeze it into our busy schedules, except we have such stressful, busy lives that there never seems to be a moment to spare.  Planning on 20-30 minutes of sitting doing nothing seems like a healthy thing to do. It seems like it would be wonderfully relaxing.  But, something else always seems to come up and snatch away those minutes we had planned to use for finding peace. Our best intentions aren't always met with actions.  Especially, for those of you that follow my page with special needs kids.  We know all too well that at the end of the day what got done was what got done, and the rest will have to wait until tomorrow.  For me, it was always a tomorrow that never came, or at least not very often.

So, what worked for me was taking several small moments in my day to really be alive in the moment.  I focused on my breath, on my toes touching the floor, the smell of the air.  I live several moments in my day as if there were no others to consider. I was amazed at the transformation that happened.  It seemed to open up a new way of thinking for me.  I seemed to have more time, more patience, more happiness, more joy, more love, more compassion, more of what I'd been trying to manufacture through all the busy-hustle bustle that I've been engaged in all my life.  The world seemed to move slower for me.  I never realized before how stiff I held myself, or how much I closed off the back of my throat constricting air, almost as if I were predicting panic at any moment.  This was my constant state before taking Mindful breaks.

One thing that I did in particular was I took out my cell phone and took a picture of nature, or something else that I found fascinating, besides another person.  I took close ups of blooming flowers or a tree glistening as the sun set behind it.  I take one at a time and use them as a wallpaper on my cell phone.  Right now there is a beautiful purple flower that I took while outside with the kids while they were playing.  Doing this helps to remind me to look for the beauty in things that are all around me at any given moment.I can instantly remember how peaceful I felt in the moment I took the picture when I see my cell phone.   There's always something spectacular to look at if one is using the right mind to see.

Police Beat To Death A Mentally Ill Man

I came across a disturbing event recently about a homeless man with  schizophrenia being beat to death by six (count 'em SIX) police officers after it was reported that he was breaking into cars. FULL STORY HERE.

I cannot even begin to describe how disgusted and infuriated that I am at what this man went through.  I know this isn't about autism, but as far as I'm concerned it could have easily been so.  It doesn't matter, no one deserves to be treated this way. I'm also quite certain that this incident would have gotten no attention and no consequence would have come of the cops if several eyewitnesses would not have caught the whole thing on video.  I am fairly certain that there would have been a good ol boy cover up and business would have gone on as usual for these poor excuses for police officers.

During training, officers are trained in MANDT procedures.  I can't recall exactly what the acronym stands for, but it's basically training on how to safely restrain another person with minimal harm to either the officer or the person being subdued.  It's very basic procedure and anyone working with people that may become dangerous and need restrained is usually trained in this.  One officer should have been able to easily subdue this man and cuff him.  There was no need for the excessive force that was used on him.  No need for six officers, and most definitely no need to be beat while being tazed.

Also, my next point...  I didn't watch the video.  It is on some of the news articles reporting this incident.  I can't watch disturbing things like a man being beaten to death in real-time.  My brain goes almost into automatic fear driven meltdown, as is common for those of us on the spectrum.   But, I have read descriptions of the video and from what I heard the suspect was screaming for his father and a few other out of place statements.  Police officers are supposed to be trained to be able to pick up on cues that says a person may not be in their right mind, or an Emotionally Disturbed Person.  They are supposed to take special precautions with an EDP, instead of just treating them as defiant.  This obviously was not followed.

Apparently there were several bystanders and some journalists have criticized their inaction.  Even comparing it to THE MILGRAM EXPERIMENT    .  I felt this is an unfair judgment placed on these horrified onlookers who at least stuck around to take video.  The Milgram experiment was not conducted with an actual authority figure such as a police officer, nor was it comparable due to the nature of who was doing the harm.  It wasn't the bystanders who were controlling directly, or indirectly how much pain the suspect was subject to.  I do feel that if they could have pushed a button to stop this man's suffering, they would have.  I feel THE STANFORD EXPERIMENT   would be more apt to describe the behavior seen in this awful situation, especially with the officers, who are totally, TOTALLY to blame here.  The buck stops there.  I'm tired of hearing the media trying to stir up drama by trying to find out who could have done what differently.  The people who perpetuated this heinous act of murder on a defenseless mentally ill man, those six officers, are who is to blame.  I hope they are not let back out into society as officers to do more harm.