With my practice of mindfulness, my day is usually full of joy and happiness. It is very easy for me to find the reasons to smile and be happy about. However, the past few days my peace has been disturbed after I encountered a distressing incident. I was thrown out of my own property as the person I had a conversation with disagreed with me about some business issues. She exploded with anger using strong language to throw me out of my place. I did not say anything further, stayed cool and calm and then I left. Although I was not angry with her unreasonable attitude and behaviour, I was nevertheless very upset.
From then on, for a couple of days, my mind kept going back to the incident and chattered about it. And, of course, the associated negative emotions came with that as well. However, through mindfulness practice, I was able to accept my pain, breathe into my thoughts and detach myself from them instead of being caught up in them. With conscious breathing, I came back to the present moment and concentrated on what I was doing.
Although I was able to manage my pain well by not letting it affect me, I was not happy at the fact that those thoughts popped up quite often in my day and disturbed my peace. My general mindfulness along with my generosity, forgiveness and sympathy worked ok but not good enough for me to completely let go of those thoughts and unpleasant feelings. It was only when I sat down and meditated on the root causes of it and truly had compassion for her – in my heart, not just in my head – was I then able to restore my peace.
My mother always teaches me: “Human beings are not perfect. We all have the good and the bad. To have harmony and peace, just look at the good side of a person and forgive them for their shortcomings.” The Buddhist teaching goes even deeper than that. It teaches us to look deeply into the causes of suffering and look with the eyes of compassion at ourselves and at those we think are the causes of our suffering.
In my mindfulness meditation, I looked into my suffering. I saw that because I did not listen to my intuition in the first place, I brought her into my life and therefore I brought trouble to myself. However, I did not beat myself up on that and I forgave myself. “It happened. I have learnt the lesson. I should be more careful in the future but I should not lose my trust and generosity; I just need to be more diligent and wiser.”
Then I looked into the nature of her action and behaviour. I saw her good seeds – the love and compassion she had for people. I saw her good deeds – the help, the support, the charitable work. I saw the causes of her anger – the jealousy, the ambition to success, the fear to lose. And I saw her sufferings.
I concentrated on her sufferings and I had compassion for her. The moment the flame of love was ignited, all my ill feelings about her disappeared.
My peace is now fully restored. I am happy and smiley again.