Last night, at the group meeting at Reading Priory, somebody asked a question about karmic consequence. The example used was of a woman who had been waiting at a bus stop in London. She had cursed the bus driver for not stopping to pick her up. The bus was, shortly afterwards, blown up in the recent bombings in the capital. We generally pondered the conditioning effects actions; of body speech and mind have on future acts. One can only offer merit to this woman who most likely feels both, glad the bus didn’t stop, as well as badly for having cussed somebody so close to his bus being blown up and many of the passengers being killed. She might, after all, have been one of them.
Footnote: The young boy travelling beside me on the train informs me that the driver of that bus survived the blast. He was in such shock that he wandered for some miles before finally checking into a hospital for treatment.
It is now all the more poignant to hear, from a fellow passenger travelling on the train, that there have been more bombing in London this very morning. This news leaves me numbly gazing out of the train window at Cornwall as it’s green rolling fields and lush green trees flash past. These bombings certainly bring to mind impermanence…and the need for nurturing compassion in the world.
In the news around the time of the bombing there were a number of stories of people who for one reason or another expressed regret. Regret for not helping somebody in need choosing to run for safety instead. Regret for even surviving when so many were hurt or died as a result of these bombings. I can’t help but think of the people on this train, many of them got on in London, they could have taken a latter one, they could have been caught up in to-days bombings. These are the kinds of thing that passes through ones mind. The realization that physical life can be so easily, and quickly, ended.
6 thoughts on “In a Moment Life is Gone.”
Hi rev. mugo
I thought I should post something here
London being where I train.
I traveled across London yesterday evening And I traveled past kings cross the day after the first explosions.
What these events bring to mind for me is the resilient of the spirit to just take the next step. And the wish that loving compassion dwells in people’s hearts as day respond to these events
In gassho James d
Thanks for that James. Be safe and be well.
This morning at the swimming pool (in the US) I told someone I’ll be flying to London in mid-August and then traveling around for a few weeks by public coach. The woman just looked at me, asking “why?”. She described herself as both very angry about the war and getting more cynical. This was the beginning of a quite open and deepening conversation about practicing within our own behavior, words, or thoughts either to increase the seeds of peace or the seeds of war. I am looking forward to coming to the U.K. – After all, as I mentioned to my friend, everyone dies. And one in every two women (again, it’s a statistic for the US) dies of heart disease. The symptoms are, for many women, merely extra fatigue for days to months, and a feeling similar to indigestion. Hate kills from the inside out, as a folk song goes. I hope this reaches you – more often than not my comments don’t post… I know not why. in gassho, Aurelia
Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts, feelings and various comings and goings with us. You are most generous with your time and the Dharma.
Thanks to Aurelia – her comments – and also those of the ‘lady in the swimming pool’ – have really helped me to look at my own reactions to this present wave of terrorist violence in Engand.
Firstly for me how easily people might end up playing part intended for them by others when they act based on ‘instinct’. As a statistician I know that I’m as just likely to meet violence almost anywhere as I am on the streets of London at the moment, but how easily people respond to media ‘energy’. In some recent comparative work I did I discovered that thanks to lack of gun control in America you are, per capita, 60 times more likely to be murdered compared with Japan. That’s a heck of a difference! It makes the USA itself one of the least safe of places to be. But few people are cancelling holidays there.
Secondly, ‘inaction’ is just as much a deliberate reponse as action and creates its own karma. Of course we can positvely chose to not retaliate in the face of violence, that may be a valid response but it will create its own result. There is no ‘neutral’ position in respect of action and result, no ‘non-choice’. We make our choices and accept the consequences.
Finally – and I’m not quite sure how to put this – I feel we live in a society which is based on a kind of unlying delusion that all issues are capable of resolution and that if we do enough of the right thing the world will be ‘perfect’ – or at least be moving that way. This feels to me like a restatement of what is described in the Shushogi as the illusion that ‘the law of cause and effect is answerable to my personal (or ‘our collective’)will’. But that taching continues ‘for without fail, evil is vanquished and good prevails’.With or without our best efforts maybe.
Hello, Rev. Mugo, so good of you to stay in touch this way. I look forward to keeping up with you this way.
With Deepest Bows,