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November 30, 2011

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Joseph

On Saturday, on our way out of a restaurant someone whacked Fina in the head with the door hard enough to give her I mild concussion. It wasn't so much that it happened as much as he didn't even acknowledge us as he ran over to a table with two girls. It was the first time in my life I seriously felt like I could kill another person. All day I thought about how I could go back to that street and wait for him to pass by.

In the end, more than anything, I realized I must not be practicing hard enough if I was able to let those feelings take me over.

Joseph

Great quote, by the way! All he needed to do was to convince everyone else that he was a prophet and that God wanted his enemies hung. It probably would have happened!

Barry Briggs

Oh, Joseph, I remember that feeling so well - of wanting to totally destroy anyone who harmed my daughter. Wow, what energy!

Ben Howard

Barry -

Self-study is indeed a difficult practice. Well-said.

I do wonder how prevalent the Christian teaching of turning the other cheek is today. It may be going the way of other lost components of our cultural heritage.

I would also question whether personal narratives of being wronged are always "just stories." Sometimes people really have been wronged--and know it. Of course, playing the unwarranted role of victim or survivor has become all too convenient, both as a subtle means of revenge and as a route to power. But I would leave open the possibility that in any particular case the self-serving story might accord with reality. Perhaps what is needed is a transformation of the negative energy of our stories into something more constructive. In my experience, this too is an aspect of self-study.

Genju

Powerful quote and comments.

I find myself noticing moments when the opportu it's for revenge presents itself. Problem though, I'm a lousy sociopath and always screw up getting my own back. Now I just hear those moments as a chance to not make a fool of myself.

Threats to me daughter not counted in this. For that, I would gladly stand by with a baseball bat.... If she will let me....

David Clark

My problem with this stems from the fact that my "revenge" comes immediately, violently and entirely in my mind. This reactive response occurs with the speed of thought and causes only me to suffer, I never act on it. I am left with a slowly fading memory of some "story", one I despise.

Meditation does seem to soften this response, when I'm feeling whole I can feel sorry to the unskillful actions of others without needing to respond, even if only in my own mind. I take hope from this.

PS. I have a new posting up on fromtheloneoak.blogspot.com
You might find it interesting.

David

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  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.
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