#30 Don’t be so predictable.
Pema’s Commentary: Do not hold a grudge against those who have done you wrong.
In reading the slogan first, what came to me was how we all can fall into the same groove or habit when faced with a particular circumstance. It is the kneejerk reaction. I understand that and can be mindful of it. Then, I turned over the card and read Pema’s commentary. Interesting, “do not hold a grudge against those who have done you wrong.” I had to contemplate on this again.
Is it not true that holding a grudge is falling into a habit when faced with slights by someone else? It is solid like a brick wall. A wall that keeps me separate from others. With each person who insults me, another brick is built in this wall. Over a lifetime, it can be a towering wall.
In mindfulness practice, when the injury is present and the suffering is high, turning towards the light of awareness shines a light on what I am feeling within. Again, this is a recognition of how I feel, honoring it, and giving compassion to what I feel. Once I do, now what can I do about it? Am I at peace? Do I want to behave in a way that is attacking?
I tend to move to self-inquiry when matters such as this presents. I admit there have been times that I have held that stone cold grudge with those who crossed me. Never to deal with them again. Other times, I have made choices, healthy choices such as boundaries, to protect my heart. What is the difference? When I make mindful, attentive choices for offering love to myself, then it is not a grudge but a pathway to peace in my mind. Otherwise, the sting of cold steel is forever present.
It was helpful to contemplate on this idea today. One by one the bricks will be removed by my kind attention to my mind.
Pema Chödrön’s Compassion Cards – This practice is lojong (mind-training slogans) and they are powerful reminders on how to awaken our hearts. They are also found in “The Compassion Book.” You choose the cards at random, read the commentary, and then try to live by the meaning of the slogan throughout the day.