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  • Fe Robinson

Your past happened to you

I learned something of the power of compassion recently.

At a meditation group I go to weekly, I dropped the Buddha statue. The group had had the same one for a long time, it was a beautiful statue made of plaster, and it shattered into a lot of pieces. I rushed to clean up the mess and immediately offered to replace it, but regardless I spent days beating myself up about it. At a group focused on mindfulness I had been careless, how could I?

A few days later I told a long time mediator I respect deeply, telling my story with the same mortified, hang dog air of guilt. Her response brought me up sharp. 'How awful for you' she said.

I woke up. This wasn't only something that happened to the statue, or to the group. It happened to me and it really affected me. Somehow my mentor's looking with kind eyes popped the bubble of my shame, and helped me empathise with my own experience. It helped me recognise the inter-connections, the contributing factors, and of course the sheer bad luck of the statue slipping from my hands.

I'd always liked that statue. It was meaningful to me. Now, it is even more so. I will remember it fondly for its reminder to be kind, to be gentle, and not to be so ready to see things from only one perspective.

What in your own experience could you help by looking at it with kinder eyes?


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