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Thoughts about September 11th and all the events that have followed it:


In the realm of physical expression we can dramatically see what habits of mind are present in the invisible realm of mind. Sometimes, just watching the news can create agitation and anger in our mind. Self-righteous feelings and judgment arise because “those idiots” are doing something we don’t like. Work with that self-righteous, judgmental mind in your meditation.


Others may do negative actions, but why do we need to get judgmental and self-righteous because of them? Why can’t we cultivate a compassionate response to others’ negativity? After all, they’re confused about what causes happiness and what causes suffering, and they’re under the control of their own disturbing attitudes, which harm them as well. Thinking in this way enables us to have compassion, because we see that others don’t mean to harm us when they do certain actions. Then we can send light, love and prayers to those who are suffering.


            Often, people do harmful things when they think they’re doing something good. Their minds are overwhelmed by disturbing attitudes. I’m sure we can look at our own past and see things we’ve done and say, “How could I have done that?” Looking back and understanding our own mind, we see that we were overwhelmed by disturbing attitudes too. We weren’t a horrible person who meant harm. We were just totally confused at that time. Understanding this, we forgive ourselves, and in doing so, become less judgmental and can forgive others, too.


            If we get depressed and discouraged by watching the news, we can use our meditation to counteract those emotions. Getting depressed and feeling despair doesn’t do any good, does it? Of course, we need to try and solve the problems in the world, but we should do it with a positive attitude, not a mind full of despair and anger.


            Before or after watching the news, we might first consider these ideas and send light out to all people who we see that are suffering. Try to figure out which disturbing attitudes are motivating them to do what they’re doing, and imagine the light and prayers purifying specifically those disturbing attitudes and negative emotions. Think about the kind of mental habits those people are creating and what kind of results they could bring.


Ask yourself, “What did they do in the past to make this behavior habitual so that they’re still doing it now?” Then, send light and prayers out to them, purifying the seeds of past actions that caused this habitual behavior and the seeds they’re creating now—so that they don’t have to experience future suffering.


            These teachings aren’t separate from our daily life. We bring these meditations right into what we find around us and use them to solve our problems. These are some examples of how to do this. You can be creative in your own meditations and discover other ways to do it, too.

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