hatred never ceases by hatred,
but by love alone is cured.
this is an ancient and eternal law.
they made me think about our current social climate in this country and my own personal approach to life. how do we go about loving those whose hearts seem to be filled with hate? can i really cure the hatred that is running rampant here by loving those who spew hate? how does one even go about loving those who are hateful to others? in one of my subsequent meditations, i tried to imagine what life is like for donald trump and for those around him. could i put myself in their place? could i see into his heart and touch the suffering in that heart that causes him to lash out at others and to call other human beings vermin, rapists, or criminals because they have come here to seek better lives for themselves and the ones they love?
i meditated, too, on how my practice has changed me over the 600+ days i have spent meditating. i know that i am more thoughtful. i am less stressed. i am able to set aside my preconceived notions of how each day should go and accept the inevitable changes that life forces me to make. i believe i am more loving to my wife and others in my circle of family and friends. i don't become impatient easily. i'm less concerned about doing something because it pleases someone else and less concerned about what others think of me and more conscious of how to resist being manipulated by others. i'm less impulsive and more willing to take time to think things through before i act or speak. i'm less likely to lash out when someone says something hurtful to me. in short, i am much happier and more content with myself and my life.
i am so delighted that i came to my study of buddhism and the way it has influenced me at this stage in my life. now that the end of my life is in sight, i can accept that my time here is finite, and i can approach death with a heart that is peaceful and filled with love. i can see that the changes in my own heart and mind have influenced changes in others around me, and that makes me believe that the quote at the beginning of this post is probably the most profound truth that one can adopt into one's life. hatred can be cured by love and only by love. this is true in our individual lives and in society.
may we love our enemies and "pray for them who despitefully use [us]" (luke 6:28). may we meet hatred with love. may we seek to see the humanity in everyone, even those who refuse to see the humanity in others. shalom.