As I start my day and see the result of my multi-tasking yesterday (a big blister on my thumb from steam, from boiling water dry on the stove and trying to remove my steamer basket with vegetables, and the resulting burn) I reflected on how this one incidence with my thumb effected my whole being for hours, and how we oftentimes seem to ‘forget’ that everything in the body is connected, and feels the effect of some injury and, how on a wider scale, so many of us totally miss that all beings and the whole planet are interconnected as well!
These reflections made me think about a profound Buddhist teachings –one that was difficult for me to accept, until I had some more pieces of the puzzle in place…
Love all sentient beings as though they were your only child.
Now, if you don’t have children, maybe you can imagine a pet or best friend or a parent instead …
Where I would get stuck was with persons committing horrendous crimes -of ‘whatever kind’- and how to possibly ‘love’ them?
Buddhism teaches us that all our unskillful acts come from ignorance, and that all beings want happiness – period – and that in pursuit of that happiness we all do what we think will give us that, however insane it might look to another!
This doesn’t mean that what they are doing is OK, but it means that just like we would have compassion for our child if he/she was doing something very wrong and would want to help set them straight, we should send prayers and good wishes to these persons as well. They certainly need it!
This also doesn’t mean that that a person (or persons) committing a crime of whatever kind, won’t have to live the consequences of their actions. They will and they do.
Karma is cause and effect, and it is corrective or instructive, not punitive! We have accumulated bunches and bunches of both virtuous and un-virtuous karma from all our previous acts throughout numerous lifetimes and when the conditions for that karma to ripen is there, the effects will manifest. Sometimes we can ‘see’ the cause and the effect clearly, but oftentimes we will never know, because we have a limited perspective of time and reality.
If you cannot include all beings in your good wishes at this point, start with someone closer to you that poses a challenge, and work your way further and further out until the whole is covered.
We are all connected — what affects one, affects us all.
Love & Light!