“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Monday, September 1, 2014


Another point of view: most people see conflict and assume the victim is suffering but not the attacker. Injustice, inequality, rich and poor, destroyer and destroyed - our instinct is to side with the underdog,  to defend, to shield, to respond angrily-loudly-powerfully (so we think).

But our real power is in discernment. Observing with the heart, with a quieted heart, it is possible to see clearly and then it is obvious that every situation has simply two sides- agonist/antagonist, effector/effected, user/used, harmer/harmed. In such an equation where is the point at which to place the tip of the lever of our will? We know a simple machine such as the lever multiplies our force considerably, but placement is everything. physics 101. The tip of our lever must go directly to the heart of the one we perceive as causing harm.

It seems as if we are then giving to the one who already has, to the strong, the wealthy, the attacker - and why help them? Because in such an equation the one without actually has more. The one with actually has less, less contact with the ultimate reality, with the universe, with divinity. This is the point which is mobile, which we can move, which we can alter the trajectory of. And what is our lever? How do we exert our effort? Compassion.

Those whose greed or anger or stupidity lead them to hurt others are hurting themselves most of all but they don't see it and often we don't either. If we react instinctively and strike back we are merely worsening the situation, putting out the fire with gasoline, wasting our breath. To be effective we have to act efficiently.

Cultivate compassion, generosity and discernment on and off the cushion. Strengthen the power of mind with meditation and mindfulness. Apply the Dhamma.

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