When you’re committed to kindness, how do you respond to hate? (The one where someone called me a _________ [the b word])

April 29, 2019   |   Leave a reply  |   FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

The meditation begins at 9:17
Audio only version is here.

Hello, dear meditator. How are you? I hope you are well and feeling happy.

I interrupt our series on the six paramitas to offer you this video from last year. I have been traveling this week and was unable to create a new video for this week. But have no fear, we will complete the series in the next two weeks!

We meditate to practice generosity, patience, and equanimity. How do we respond when generosity, patience, and equanimity go out the window? Does this mean that our spiritual experiment has failed?

It does not. In fact, when emotions are high we are presented with an opportunity to put our practice to work. This does not mean to feel all sanguine and relaxed. No! We are human beings who are “brilliant, vivid, made of music and fire,” to paraphrase Addison DeWitt. As such, we are capable of a great range of unpredictable feeling.

To become spiritual is not to equalize this range. It is actually to enhance it. In other words, rather than feeling less, as meditators, we feel more. Then what? When you are furious, do you yell and scream? When you are hurt, do you sob and disavow those who hurt you? Certainly, you are invited to. These are not necessarily anti-spiritual activities. It seems to depend on your motivation, the ability to introduce a pause between emotion and response, and a commitment to respect yourself and others. Interestingly, it is leaving out this first bit (respecting yourself) that leads to difficulty.

Before today’s sit, I share with you a story about when someone in the Open Heart Project called me a f*&#ing b*tch. I’m not particularly proud of this story, but I think it illustrates something useful: a way to respond to so-called haters that feels both genuine and pacifying.

What do you think? What helps you in such situations? What do you think is the right thing to have done in the situation I described? I would love to hear!

Love, Susan


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