Thursday, June 26, 2014
What do you do when an @$$hole throws rocks?
But what’s true for them is also true for me. The way I regard those who hurt me today will determine how I experience the world in the future. In any encounter, we have a choice: we can strengthen our resentment or our understanding and empathy. We can widen the gap between ourselves and others or lessen it." *
Ask me about this most of the time and I'm all bobble-head smiley-face you betcha. Buddhism ROCKS! But tonight for a good long stretch of the drive home after a board meeting my gutter "French" got one hell of a workout.
Granted, I wasn't the only one. As we spilled out of the board room the air was positively blue. The atmosphere in the meeting was so taut you could have used it as a trampoline. There was a lawyer at the table, not for decoration, but to try and keep a lid on.
The person who was the cause for all the swearing is married to the person who was president of our board last year. She was doing a great job until she had a stroke which affected her ability to do the job properly. The board had to finally ask her to resign. This made her furious and her belligerent, domineering husband decided to avenge her honour by nominating himself to the new board with the intent of ripping us all (and me in particular) to shreds.
He sent a barrage of angry, verbally abusive e-mails even before the term's work began and tonight he criticized every breath I've drawn since joining the board several years ago. Everything bad that has happened since 2011 has been my fault.
One of Buddha’s disciples went to him and said, “Master, what do I do about my enemies who throw rocks at me and call me names?”
Buddha said, “You have no enemies. Hatred is a defilement of the mind, a defilement you can mindfully overcome.”
This is my challenge. A test, as it were, not of my (ahem) "French" skills but of my ability to remain calm and compassionate while this 6' 7" man is looming over 5' 0" me, determined to intimidate me, since he blames me for ousting his wife, because as vice-president I had to finish out her term.
I want to experience the world in a positive light, not from a fearful and defensive position. I suspect by the end of this I will have learned a great deal more about mindfully overcoming the defilement of the mind which occurs when someone throws rocks at me and calls me names.
Or I will have taken up voo-doo, the kind where you make dolls, say incantations over them and stab them with pins. I'd say the chances are about 50/50.
*paraphrased from Pema Chödron's book No Time To Lose...