Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Simple and Amazing, by Jose

Shang Rinpoche
Jose Serrati, Paraguay
After living in Taipei for two years, l went back home for a two-week visit. The visit turned into an indefinite one, after the Taiwanese consul denied me the visa to return to Taiwan.  So I just continued my Taiwanese routine in my home country, as best as I could.

I practiced qigong and a bit of meditation every day, as well as a very simple technique to observe my own thoughts, learned in the course of Shang Rinpoche’s lectures. In doing this, some very simple daily activities became interesting subjects of observation. The one l can remember best is watching buses going downhill on the street where l lived. They would go full speed with engines roaring and their wheels hitting big potholes in the asphalt with loud banging noises. The noise, the colorful buses, the water from the potholes splashing in all directions - it all created a series of shocks to my senses. My mind observed attentively.

My observation practice had turned some simple daily activities into a circus of lights and sounds. At which point l realized how much my mind had been bombarded by all these sensations, without even being aware of it. As each sensation produced an emotion, l reasoned that in the past my mind must have been jumping all around, all day long.

The best, though, came afterward, not as a result of direct observation, even though observation did play a role.

I had gone to visit a friend in an area near the biggest day market in town. The place could be described as Chinatown. There, my friend invited me to a very small street stand that sold very good empanadas. The place only had one table on the sidewalk, so we took it. Suddenly, a big truck stopped almost next to our table and a couple stepped out.

They were well dressed and wore sunglasses, so l didn’t recognize them at first. Then l did. They were my former neighbors. The woman had always been nice and friendly, but l had never liked the husband. The feeling had been mutual, to the point where we had expressed this dislike for each other in many different ways throughout the years. Even after having left that neighborhood for some years, l had always kept him in a special place in my mental gallery of unpleasant people.

So here we were, after years of not seeing each other, in the middle of Chinatown, with only one table to share. What were the odds of this encounter? The wife greeted me very friendlily and l corresponded. Then out of courtesy l invited them to sit with us and introduced my friend to them. They sat very happily and in a minute we were all talking like good old friends. I simply could not believe what was happening. I didn’t dislike this guy anymore.

l went back home and recalled the event repeatedly, observing my mind very carefully. No animosity, no bad feelings, not even a trace of them. Even after remembering incidents that involved fireworks and stones being hurled at my house by his children, the thoughts produced no angry feelings. The memories where still there, but the attached feelings had disappeared. At that point l realized what had happened: l had forgiven him. A miracle had occurred. It had happened without me even realizing it.

In trying to find an explanation for this phenomena, l can only believe that l had let go of those negative feelings. Not expressly, but as the result of other practices that involved such a process. The beneficial effects of those practices had even extended beyond the scope of my awareness. The feeling now was one of relief, lightness, and peace. How to describe it? Simply amazing.

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