Drama, Distraction, and Benefits
Life can be dramatic, and messy, and quite unsettling. Her niece was being abused. And when she ran away (complaining of such) her aunty took her in. Legally speaking the “i’s” were dotted, the “t’s” were crossed and the lawyers we well pleased. All was well, or so it looked; but that was not how it felt.
For when aunty sat in meditation she strongly felt as if the child abuser (estranged, and twisted, and single minded) was creeping about her house. But isn’t meditation supposed to make us peaceful? Isn’t it supposed to set our hearts at ease, and make all our wishes come true? No. Not when it is done properly.
Each of us, down to a man, has a sympathetic nervous system that has evolved to sharpen our perceptual acuity to observe peril: both present and potential. And the potential of the reprisals of a frustrated child abuser could be perilous indeed.
The secret weapon of every healthy mammal is the empathy center (tucked into the center or our neocortex) wired to feel others’ pleasures and pains as if they were our own. So aunty may practice the love meditations that wish well for others, for all others, even for those filling villainous roles.
And aunty may also practice the meditations that notice herself, her ward, and her predator: their desires and their fears. But peace will only be tasted of, when their impermanence and non-graspability are explored.
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