Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I copied the following from the March, 2009 Shambala Sun Magazine (found at the main building of the retreat center). I didn't write down the name of the article or the author. My apologies to anyone that minds. I'm willing to pay the karmic price...
We can see tremendous power of loving-kindness in the example of a great meditation master who spent 22 years in a hard labor camp as a political prisoner. After his release, when he was in his 70s, he said, "Physically, I suffered through the years of hard work, but mentally I don't remember that I ever felt sad. I dealt with the situation with two meditations. First, I accepted my misfortunes as a result of my own karma - the consequences of my past misdeeds - then I rejoiced, since the karma was now being cleared. "Secondly, I meditated on compassion and loving-kindness for those who were responsible for putting us in prison and forcing us to work very hard. Since they were responsible for the suffering of so many, I knew that they, in their future, would suffer severely as a result of what they were doing. The thought of their future suffering enabled me to generate compassion."
I can't think of any rational argument for looking at this man's situation any differently, can you? I mean, there are a few ways to respond to a hard experience, but this man's response is one that doesn't add to the suffering. Even though he was held captive, he was/is free.
I don't know if, at this point in my life, I have it in me to do what that meditation master did, but I can start practicing now with the small day-to-day stuff.