‘Get Me Outta Here’. A rock representing a person imprisoned in their harsh thoughts and ‘no-one-loves me’ beliefs. What is required here? To recoil is the response of an emotional worldview that is too small. Imagine this person as your child. You would go to your child when they are suffering and care for and love them.
When you are able to include the ‘negative’ energy of a person, with their unbelievable pain and suffering, into your life you yourself can begin to experience greater love and light in your life. Consider the possibility of inviting this person into your heart. You may well find love, kindness, and receptivity will eventually be returned. As the ‘Buddhists’ say: At the very least do no harm.
An experience of separation came starkly a few years ago when one of my Tibetan teachers gave me a practice when I was in Nepal. If I was to tell you that he gave me this practice telepathically that may be too much of a stretch – so let’s just say he spoke to me and said: “invite your heart to become as big a mine”. Well, that sounds like a wonderful teaching to receive, magnanimous and inclusive. However, it wasn’t until I got home and within a matter of a few months I was beside myself with frustration, annoyance, anger and at times rage. I had come to experience that in order for me to bring this practice into my daily life I had to let all the ‘a-holes’ in too. And, in my life at that time there were plenty of them. The only way I could manage to continue the practice was to create a special room in my heart for the ‘a-holes’ to deal with later when I was up to it. It worked.
This practice began to show me how much I pushed aside, excluded, separated, ignored, looked down on, judged and condemned those I considered as ‘a-holes’. What a rude awakening. So I was not this spiritual yoga teacher who had her act together. I was stuck in the painful place of duality, of keeping in separate compartments that which I deemed as ‘good’ and that which I deemed as ‘bad’. I got to eat humble pie and still do. However, I notice my judgments, beliefs and opinions much quicker than I used to and am able to change my perspective of ‘other’. The only way I’ve been able to do this is to continue to cultivate compassion and wisdom which are the essential Buddhist teaching I’ve been studying since the late eighties.
photo credit: Photo 1 k.bell. River rock, Henley Lake Masterton New Zealand
Photo 2. Unknown. Bairo Tulku Rimpoche 2008 Kathmandu, Nepal