Sometimes I feel like I am a bad Buddhist. I don’t meditate as often as I feel I should and I sometimes let thoughts and feelings feed my ego. Then I realize that it is my own thinking that creates these thoughts, and then I am not so hard on myself. I let it fade away and let my practice to be fully attentive of this moment, as projections of ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought-to’s’ take my mind on a journey away from Riding the Ox back home.
In the news recently, I read about a mob of Buddhists killing Muslims. My heart sank. Now, these are bad Buddhists… so bad, one could argue that they are so far removed from the Buddha’s teachings, they should not even be called Buddhists. I am sure this is how many Muslims feel about Islamic extremists. You hear about their religion being hijacked.
Now, a Buddhist doesn’t mean standing by and not reacting to protect themselves or others… they wouldn’t just let someone murder a little kid in front of them, they would try to stop that violence. But revenge, retribution is not the Buddhist way. At least this is my understanding.
The Bodhisattva Vow means trying to save all beings from suffering, and this includes ‘bodhisattvas’ themselves. The hateful buddhist, the Islamic terrorist, the peaceful Dali Lama, the peaceful muslim, they all are not separate… harming one harms yourself, harms all. Love thy neighbor… Harm none…. Whether you label that one-ness as God or Mother Earth or Emptiness dancing with Form, the message is clear. You already know in your heart the answer, let it out already and let it shine. Let your love-light shine!