SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to this story of meeting violent intentions with love? Can you share a personal experience of a time you saw violence melt away in the face of love? What helps you stay rooted in love in the face of violence?
What a beautiful story. Compassion is the need of the hour. For a compassionate person it is in his nature to be so. But for a thief to show such courtesy in response is a heart warming gesture. Three cheers to the bandit. This is the best indication that the core of every human being is love and compassion and if kindled in the right way rises to great heights.
I was mugged by gunpoint in NYC summer of 2010. I reacted in compassion for the young men who felt so desperate they would make this choice. Rather than condemn them I asked for compassion for them. At the time the $80 they robbed from me were groceries for 2 weeks, but they must have needed that money more than I did. In the end, the $80 came back to me within 24 hours: $40 from a friend's mother and $40 from a check sent by a friend when she heard what happened. I think it is far more valuable to react in love and compassion for the human being and the heart. In our current political situation in the US< i have shared Free Hugs on election day and in front of the White House. I often share Free Hugs at protests too. It is always well received. here's to love!
A very good friend of mine came to her car one day, the windows were broken and all the bags, that she had left in the car without thinking had been stolen. We were all in agony for her, and regretted her big loss. She, on the other hand, felt sorry for the thief. "What a poor live he must have, if he needs to break into cars for a living. He actually took all the things that I had prepared to give away to an NGO for poor people. The thief might have felt that all of it was meant to be for him. I wish I could have given it to him as a gift, so the windows would not be broken."
My husband was a very violent man and he took every chance he could to hit me. I remember one time he was angry about the way his socks were folded and as he pulled his fist back to hit me I looked at him with as much love as I could muster I did not hold on to a single speck of fear. He backed off, got mad at himself and turned around. Yes, I paid dearly for that moment later on, but that is the one and only time he ever backed away from me. I know that there is only love and fear. Love is real. Fear is an illusion held by many that cannot see past the veil. Sometimes Love is difficult, but it is always easy.
A friend of mine recently told me a story of something similar happening in the USA, few decades ago. Joe Miller, a close friend of "Sufi Sam" Lewis, was at home while his home was being robbed. Instead of calling the police or confronting the thief, Miller instead started cooking breakfast, and as the thief passed the kitchen on his way out, he called to him, "Do you want toast or pancakes with your eggs?" The thief, dumbstruck, replied, "Pancakes." And sat down and chatted with Miller for the rest of the morning. After that encounter, the two became friends, and Joe helped him get out of his rut. I love these stories of kindness. Les Miserables tells a similar tale, does it not?
love is letting everything be as it is and everyone be as they are including self. Love is the only language of the sacred space in which we all arise in consciousness - there was never ever anything to take or lose, but that is so hard, takes great courage, trust and acceptance of truth - a good test of walking your talk often comes with the biggest challenge in the darkest hours - that's when we really rock up to life and truth - great story and even that isn't true - thanks for sharing x
Violence breeds violence, love breeds love. Thirst for violence cannot be quenched by violence. It can be quenched only by forgiveness and love. Esho dhamma santatano, This is the eternal law, says the Buddha.The highest form of love is self transcendence as displayed by the Baba.
I practice loving kindness meditation to cultivate compassion, acceptance, forgiveness and love for me and for others including those who have hurt me.I teach Peace Education to children and teachers in a Montessori School. We all practice loving kindness meditation together and share our growth experiences. We all are witnessing antagonism, divisiveness, aggressiveness, hostility and violence everyday. We all need to cultivate compassionate understanding of each other and learn to build bridges rather than walls.Building more and more weapons of destruction are going to back fire and may cause universal inhalation.
We all need to realize and remember that the seeds of violence are planted in the minds of people and the seeds of peace can also be p[anted in the minds of people.We all need to learn to make wise choices to preserve life, human as well as the life of the mother planet.
May we cultivate loving kindness to nurture the tree of life!
Jagdish P Dave
I believe meeting violent intentions with love is the only way to go, if it results in no violence or in violence, if it results in peaceful resolution or death. I don't know if I would live up to that belief in a situation of facing violence or death but I hope I would. Love disarms violence and will prevail, even if injury or death occurs before the love replaces violence. Love begets love, and eventually love prevails. Violence begets more violence, and never prevails. I've learned about violence being diffused by love by what Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King accomplished. I've seen potential violence dissolve in the presence of acceptance and love. I've defused potential arguments by being calm and kind rather than fostering argument and violence by hostile reaction. I don't always stay rooted in love. What helps me sometimes stay rooted in love is knowing that only love dissipates violence, just as only light dissipates darkness. It was said in the 60s that dropping bombs for peace is like screwing for virginity. It just won't ever work.[Hide Full Comment]
I am practicing (and failing) to listen deeply, especially with angry or disturbed people. I want to learn to hear the fear, anguish or pain behind the violent words or threat. Then I can respond to the need, the yearning and not the immediate insults, anger or threat. I would love to be able to "offer lunch" to someone hurting, instead of reacting, as I usually do, like a deer in headlights. Practice, practice, practice, and practice, again, this day and every day.
I literally just clicked "post" on a story from this week's visit to prison, during which the men expressed the love they felt from watching a video of a classical music piece. As they watched the 9-minute piece, their hardness, their facades, their stories visibly melted away. They softened and settled into their chairs. When it was done, I asked them what they felt. "I felt joy." "Yes, and I also felt sorrow." "I felt love" "He played from his heart." Amazing to visually see these men connect to the deeper humanness that is transported and transformed by classical music. It's a reminder of our common humanness and that love liquifies all fear. Prison actually abounds of stories of love overcoming violence. For example, unbeknownst to anyone, a man had decided to commit suicide by going on a killing rampage of the officers. Four days before his selected date, he experienced unconditional love for the very first time in his life. This man is now one I see almost weekly. There are more... And each brings a huge smile in my heart[Hide Full Comment]