Thursday, March 10, 2011
Off The Cushion
For the next twenty minutes I was treated to an unsolicited ear-full of how when the gas prices go up all of the blacks are going to leave, and how all of the kids at the school bus stops have babies in their arms. I struggled to exfiltrate myself from the conversation but part of me, like driving past a car wreck, wanted to hear this guy's destructive, hate-filled rant.
I contemplated loving kindness and how this guy, as misguided as I believed he was, deserved my compassion. It's easy to love the world's down-trodden and unfortunate, but when faced with someone that is the victim of his own limited mind, the task becomes much more difficult. How do you show compassion for someone that you find so distasteful?
The other take away for me was the question of why do I find his rant so offensive in the first place? Clearly I'm attached to my viewpoints, and when confronted with such a dramatically different perspective I quickly retract and begin to judge and form opinions.
Buddhism is a wonderful thing, and when sitting on a cushion its simple to follow it's tenants. Applying the same in the reality of a crowded Starbucks is a bit more challenging.