This is a weekly post from Bodhisattva Yoga’s founder/director offering weekly bits of research findings, suggestions, and musings on all things directly & indirectly related to the broad Path of Yoga.
The morning after I learned of the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon I posted my thoughts and suggestions (16.4.2013) on how to move forward constructively, after such events. As the tendency, for many, is to fall paralyzed to the TV and allow ourselves to enter a passive state whereby we are fed a host of speculations and incriminations – by “all-knowing” pundits. Somehow, after all the media feed, you’re only left with contempt for mankind, along with suspicion and paranoia of your neighbor.
Yet, it is imperative to remember that despite terribly tormented individuals (and groups of them) committing heinous acts – and, more unsettlingly, the possibility of shadowy, international leagues of powerful people, corporations and groups masterminding &/or benefitting from such horrific, distracting tragedies – the vast majority of people (yes, even unenlightened people) would not side with what they know to be wrong, unless they are afraid. So, please do not allow yourself to become fearful or suspect of your fellow (wo)man. Alert, yes, but not fearful.
Meanwhile, when we do inevitably experience fear, loss or anguish, the best thing to do is to stay composed and positive – even if situations require you to be fierce. This may seem in contradiction, which brings me to sharing a dialogue that ensued after my posting the forthcoming coping with loss suggestion on facebook (16.4.2013) – after the Boston Marathon:
I am very sad to learn about the tragedy in Boston. However, please be constructive in mourning the loss of our fellows… Harboring emotions like anger, hate and vindictiveness surely led the perpetrator(s) to commit the tragedy. We need to avoid falling into the same destructive states of demonic tendencies whereby, as a society, we seek revenge. That’s never brought loved ones back, and it doesn’t help their mindstreams when leaving this life.
The Medicine Buddha (Skt., Buddha Baidurya; Tib., Sangye Menla), is a very powerful archetype of the enlightened mind – and, is perfect for the purposes of managing the suffering of loss of life &/or health.
(I SHARE’d this, on FB, with the preceding quote – as posted by FPMT on facebook, 16.4.2013:)
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the senseless tragedy that occurred today at the Boston Marathon.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche always advises to make strong prayers to Medicine Buddha for anyone who is dying, sick, injured, or who has
already died from the violence that occurred today in Boston and elsewhere.
The mantra of Medicine Buddha is:
TADYATA OM BHEKHANDZYE BHEKHANDZYE MAHA BHEKHANDZYE (BHEKHANDZYE) RAJA SAMUDGATE SVAHA
After the above posting (which included the above share from FPMT) a FB reader inquired (edited):
“I read your post and I wholeheartedly agree but how do I do that when I’m sworn to protect and in my job violence is usually met with violence. There have been times when I’ve almost had to shoot people. There were times when I had to use force just to survive situations. How do I reconcile the need for force as someone on the front lines?”
“As one who’s taken an oath to serve, you must act for the greater good. It is possible to handle difficult, volatile, even violent scenarios with a sense of: ‘This is what needs to be done.’
“The trick, as an evolving being, is not allowing our frustrations, our squad, a violent suspect &/or our prejudices to cloud our clarity of mind and purpose. How can we act – even forcefully – because a situation requires it, out of responsibility, and yet, not allow ourselves to be overcome by hate, rage or anger?
“Although difficult, and on the surface it seems contradictory, it is not only going to help you be at your best in a moment of crisis, it is in keeping with the path of the advancing individual. Even if you have to shoot someone… How can that be done because the scenario left no choice, and not because you’re enraged?
“The great kung fu masters and samurai warriors were often noted for their lethality, while still maintaining a calm mind in the midst of battle. They were even trained to maintain a calm, compassionate mind. This is the avenue I’d suggest: Letting compassion – the wish to see others free of suffering – be your motivation. It will keep you poised, sharp and ready to take whatever action is required, in any situation, without succumbing to blind rage.
“I hope this helps in your reflections.”
The whole reason I share all of this is to: A., Give you tools, i.e., Medicine Buddha’s holy mantra, to help you cope with loss, injury, illness and death; and, B., To remind you that you can be strong, fierce, even lethal, if the protection/betterment of beings is at issue. However, my invitation is for you to be guided by compassionate activity – not hateful anger &/or blind rage. This is in accord with the Bodhisattva path.
If this speaks to your sensibilities, join me in any of BY’s offerings and begin/continue your training in compassionate activity.