Zen Talk: The Buddha Speaks of the Unfortunate Endurance of Hatred

“‘He reviled me; he injured me; he defeated me; he deprived me.'” In those who harbor such grudges, hatred never ceases.”

And isn’t that the truth!

Hatred – who needs it?

It sucks, it’s burdensome, heavy, cumbersome, smothering, awful, evil, terrible, vile and worst of all – so hard to get rid of. In fact, hatred is much like genital warts.

But you know what else? Hatred is self-perpetuating. It’s also hungry, but it can be starved. Starve your hatred and don’t feed it what it wants. If you want examples of what it wants, it’s those phrases that Buddha  provided above: grudges. Hatred loves grudges, and with them it will never cease.

Sure, it’s easier said than done. “Hey Israelis and Palestinians! Hey Sunis and Shiites! Hey Pakistanis and Indians! If you stop thinking about what has happened in the past then you can have a peaceful future!” Yes, but where does that leave us? Will everyone forget? Will everyone just let it go?

No, probably not, but it has to start somewhere. Why doesn’t it start with us? And you don’t have to start with the big issues. Start with little things. Practice letting it go. When you usually get pissed off, breath a little deeper and let it go. Get rid of the hate.

I’m as guilty as the next person and I’ll start trying, too. In fact, it’s been my goal all week (hence this post). A few things in my everyday were consistently pissing me off and making me hate unnecessarily. It just had to stop. Now I try to make myself feel silly about it, breath deep and let it go. It’s working. Join me!

What do you think? What are you doing to get rid of hatred and bad feelings?

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3 Responses

  1. Ha, great question! What do I do when I see my own anger? That’s the first step — SEE IT. I see my anger, and I turn it over and over and try to find out where it came from. That guy driving too slowly in front of me? What an idiot! Grrr! Then … why am I angry about that? Well … because I’m late. Oh … Whose fault is that? Yeah …

  2. Identification! That’s a wonderful first step and in a sense, goes hand in hand with last week’s mindfulness post.

    “I’m late, whose fault is that?” Duh, fate!

  3. Hatred is part of the empty boat. I don’t want to let it go. I want to RAM that boat … and sink it. And kill everyone [?] in it.

    But, … there’s no one in it.

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