Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hate Him As Long You Want

You see, I'm a fraud.

They tell me why they want to learn about meditation. They want relief from stress and tension; they want to improve themselves in the area of kindness or calm or something like that; they want to enhance their physical health.

Doesn't work like that. I tell them this, to my credit. The ones who believe me stop coming after a couple of classes. The others, who think that maybe they really will get something, keep coming.

Last Saturday's class was, as you might expect, all about Virginia Tech. And one very enthusiastic new meditator had a confession:

"I don't feel any compassion for Seung-hui Cho."

And the meditation instructor said:

"Fine. Don't."

Incredulous pause. The woman is smiling as if waiting for the punchline to a joke.

"Don't be kind. Don't forgive. Take your concept of 'compassion' and flush it."

Still waiting. That can't be it. So I offer one more suggestion.

"This practice is about paying attention, so pay attention. Pay attention to how you feel and what you do, every moment, look at yourself and stop trying to improve yourself."

And what about Seung-hui Cho?

Pay attention. And, if it gives you pleasure, hate him.

Do that as long as you really want.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


i read something today on about how forgiving another person is insulting to that person because it implies that the forgiver is right and the forgiven is wrong. there was a quote from the buddha on treating one's enemy with reverence rather than hatred.

hopefully, i have understood this correctly, and i apologize if not. you are the expert.

i wonder how difficult it will be to treat Mr. Cho with reverence.