Guns Festivals and Ayurveda.

J. Grant Staffordayurveda, meditationLeave a Comment

8/1/19. 4:15pm. On a jet plane to Denver.

Rattlesnake. A deadly animal by my house.

Rattlesnake encounter this morning right next to our cabin. How does one eliminate the threat? Wolves, bears, snakes. Deadly animals that challenge our safety. The snake isn’t aggressive, but it wants to live and procreate. Do we live with it? Coexist and let it survive? It serves the ecosystem, it’s in it’s natural place. But, it’s a threat, especially to my dog, Enzo, who might not know it.

I think that Enzo, the smart dog that he is, has already encountered it and instinctively retreated when it rattled. I told Shelby that I had heard the rattle outside our kitchen window on Tuesday morning while chatting with Dobko and Haribol over breakfast.

There’s something hypnotic and there’s a respect for the rattler. It’s medicine for the ecosystem there with an apex predator hanging around on the property. There’s a balance happening, when the bear, the wolf, the lion shows up. The eagle, the owl, the rattlesnake and hawk can’t be here if their food supply isn’t. Just as likely, if the rodents and squirrels aren’t abundant then there’s a problem, because their food supply, the plants, nuts, and seeds are in peril. There is an abundance of frogs and toads right now, probably because of the long, wet winter. It’s also the first time that Janina, who’s lived here twenty years, has seen a rattler.

So, do we eliminate the snake? I’ll destroy some spiders or insects if they’re inside my house or my truck. But, do I kill them in the grass or the forest? Do we still hunt wolves? Bears? Lions? Do we hunt down and kill the humans that mercilessly shot the other humans at Gilroy Garlic Festival?

Gilroy Garlic Festival. Rage with a Gun.

I got news of the shooting while we were at Guitarfish on Sunday night. Chloe’s Dad called her from Australia to make sure that she was OK. He’d just heard that there was a shooting at a festival in California.

First Vegas. Now Gilroy. No wonder there were police tanks at Bottle Rock. And while Gilroy Garlic Fest is not exactly a high profile festival, I mean, I’ve applied to in the past, it has been around over thirty years.

Humans are way more of a threat to other humans than a rattlesnake. It’s all odds though right? I’ve been at a festival where a person dies. At LIB in 2017, a person died in their tent of dehydration. We can be a danger to ourselves. We can party so hard that we can’t receive the signals from our brain that we must drink water or else we’ll die if we don’t.

So do we just go around exterminating all threats to our safety? Impossible, but that seems to be the survival instinct. The fight. If gun violence at festivals is up-trending, then my odds of witnessing or being at one when it happens are trending too. Do I start packing a gun? Probably not. Some of the festivals that I vend at have security that do vehicle searches, but not thorough. The smaller camp-outs don’t search, but there is security onsite.

The medicine of Ayurveda. A mind out-of-balance.

I think that it’s the human struggle. We’re animals. We’re angels. And we’re aware of and commanded by the whims of both. We’re apes. The monkey mind. In ayurveda, an out-of-control over-active brain is an imbalanced Rajas mind, which normally serves us in building, working, analyzing, creating, but out-of-balance we might fall deep into an analytical abyss and turn inward. The overactive Rajas mind turned inward on itself, like mirror on mirror, a bad trip, drives one mad, like a shooter in the depths of the abyss of their own mind.

Then there’s the Tamas mind that gives in and feeds on the rage and aggression. Normally, in balance, it keeps us alive: eat when hungry, what tastes good, drink what quenches thirst, procreate, fight, run. But, overcome by rage, it wants us to get violent.

In ayurveda, we cultivate the sattvic mind, the spiritual, selfless mind, the quiet mind. With the Tamas & Rajas in balance, the gentle voice of the Sattva is heard, then the wise, peaceful, loving, & angelic mind blooms. The soul opens.

Foods can serve the Sattvic, Rajas, or Tamas, just as do certain actions, words, and thoughts. So, we cultivate a balanced mind. What do we cultivate while we’re here? Our actions will have consequences on our community and Nature. If afforded the privilege of time, love, & health why not choose to cultivate more of that, selflessly for the benefit of all beings.

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