Did you spend part of your Sunday thinking about the shootings in Orlando?
I’ll bet folks who attend church services heard about grief and pain.
Our Buddhist friends here in Portland addressed the murders head-on.
What would be a thoughtful response?
Blame? Sorrow? Affirming it’s them, not us?
The issue lands right in our laps.
We are responsible.
Responsible in the sense that we can’t control anyone else’s actions, but we can manage our own behaviors.
That means we can be kind when we’re tempted to be cruel.
The Orlando killer learned how to hate.
At some point in his life, someone caused him harm.
Our job is to be compassionate rather than harmful.
When I’ve felt wronged my mind turns to revenge.
I plot intricate maneuvers to trap my critic in a pool of molasses and unleash a raft of Africanized bees.
But if I can reframe the story and consider that my critic bears scars wrought by others, then perhaps I can extract a drop of compassion from my miserable mind.
Yesterday we read the Chant of Boundless Compassion, which reminds me that my own grief can be cushioned by acting more compassionate.
Here’s the chant:
Absorbing world sounds
Awakens a Buddha right here
This Buddha the source of compassion
This Buddha receives only compassion
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – just compassion
Thus the pure heart always rejoices
In the light recall this
In the dark recall this
Moment after moment the true heart arises
Time after time there is nothing but THIS
Uncredited photo from http://skydharma.com/the-meaning-of-compassion-in-the-buddhist-tradition