The purpose of this meditation is to generate the wish to bring samsara to an end by our actions.
I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation. I then began by thinking about one of the commitments of training the mind:
- Do not retaliate to verbal abuse
This is a hard commitment for me personally. If someone abuses me, my self cherishing focuses on ‘how dare they say that’ rather than the content of what they have said. It seems almost compulsory to retaliate to verbal abuse!
I thought about how my Spiritual Guide has given me this advice, and it is the advice that he follows himself. He does this, and he is happy all the time. So despite my misgivings, if I want to be like my Spiritual Guide, I need to understand why this advice leads to happiness.
I thought about retaliation, and it seemed to me that our problem is that we strive for balance, but with ignorance rather than wisdom.
When we experience verbal abuse, in our ignorance we believe that this is the initiating action, and that to balance it, we MUST perform an opposing action – such as insulting the person back.
However, this is a misreading of the situation.
In actual fact, the abuse we suffer is the REACTION to an action that we ourselves performed in the past. It is the conclusion of the action-reaction process, not the beginning.
This means that when we experience verbal abuse, we have the choice: we can just react and abuse back, thus creating another new action which will produce an experience of being abused in the future, or we can ‘not retaliate to verbal abuse’. The latter course of action brings the negative karmic cycle to an end, and no further negative karma is created.
I imagined it like being on a raft on a vast ocean. The ocean covered the whole planet. When I made a splash in the water, the wave went out and around the whole planet, eventually coming back to hit my raft in the future. To me, it seemed like there was a constant series of waves coming out of nowhere, all needing to be responded to. If I realised that I was causing the waves in the first place, it would be easy to simply let them hit me, and not make any more waves myself. After a time, there would be no more waves!
I imagined not reacting to verbal abuse, and bringing to an end that particular karmic cycle. Eventually, I was sitting on my raft on a completely flat and calm ocean, peaceful and tranquil. I focused on this tranquility and the fact that I created it by not retaliating to verbal abuse. It was lovely.
May all living beings understand the law of karma, and use it to attain peace and tranquility.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will try to not retaliate to verbal abuse, unpleasant situations or any other negative experience, but instead recognise it as the result of my past actions.