Keeping Honest

I’ve been talking to somebody recently who is caught up in a tricky situation, which is being played out rather publicly. Names and reputations, good ones, are being chewed on, dragged around and generally besmirched. Sad business. (Incidentally this is not in the world of party politics in case anybody was wondering.) There is no way anybody will come out squeaky clean. More arguments and counter arguments will only create more soap bubbles. What is the way through in this sort of situation? To defend oneself, to ignore the inevitable inner disquiet that soap opera produces? Do nothing ’till the storm blows over? Or, like the Manchester hermit in his blog today, apologise. One can at the very least apologise for ones own part in the creation of soap. Or ones part in inadvertently causing hurt to those concerned. As a meditator and one who has Precepts it’s really hard to purposefully, and consistently, create harm. Intention is the touch stone. Touching it regularly keeps one humble, and honest.

I felt a deep regret while meditating this morning so I thought I should say something. I take it as a sign of progress. It’s a funny thing, meditation. Very difficult to know if you’re doing it right. It’s very simple but also extremely difficult. The job is to try and stay with the truth, but I’m so beset by delusions and confusions that it’s often difficult to know if I’ve taken a wrong turn. The only way to really measure oneself is by an increase in loving feelings. This is a sign that my habitual self-centredness must be dissolving slightly and I can start to see things from other points of view.

It’s not something you can create or fake either. If you get on with the main work of patient observation diligently, it just seems to happen by itself that a spring of generous thoughts begins to seep through the ground. It’s very easy to be sitting there daydreaming, or circling round and round selfish or delusional ideas – and I’ve done that. The only way to know if you’re on the right path is if spontaneous kindness starts to break through. Makes you feel happy. Which in my experience makes it quite likely that crabby and irritable is just round the corner…

from An Apology – by The Manchester Hermit.

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