Metta and a Trickster

That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators...Part of Buddhist teaching is Metta, the prayer of loving kindness.  There are many variations and lengths ranging from very short to considerable.  The format is standard, however: 1.) Start with offering loving kindness to yourself.  2.) Once comfortable with that, offer loving kindness to those you love.  3.) Next step, offer loving kindness to those you don’t know well, maybe the passerby who picked up an envelope you dropped while leaving the post office. 5.) Offer your prayer of loving kindness to all beings.

Yes, I know, I skipped number 4.  The steps above are how we do a metta practice with children. However, step 4 is really the heart of this practice, and, not surprisingly, the very hardest to master.

4.) Offer loving kindness to some one who is a great negative challenge in your life, who makes you feel angry, for whom your knee jerk reaction is anything but wishing him or her well.

I have to admit, there are those who make this an uphill battle.  And yet, it does seem to having a calming effect on me. Anger does not serve me well.  It raises my blood pressure and it makes me darkly depressed. If you had seen me in a full on depressive state, you wouldn’t want to see it again so believe me when I say I don’t ever want to feel it again either.

The Buddhists would suggest looking at the source of anger as a Spiritual Teacher.  What is the karmic lesson being offered? Can I be open to this lesson? Love is not pure until it extends to all beings.

Alternatively (or maybe a variation on the theme), some Native people believe that Trickster Coyote is the teacher of wisdom, the trickling god, who – when properly approached – can share with people some priceless wisdom. Again, there is the need to be open to that wisdom.

My own thinking is that there are personal karmic lessons and those karmic lessons that are meant for the entire culture.

If we don’t learn the lesson on offer, if we don’t embrace the priceless wisdom and somehow end that hatred that divides us, our spiritual teachers will return.  The Trickster will show up again and again until we get it.  They don’t give up trying.

Oh, that Trickster Coyote throwing our current political situation out into the mix once again!


7 thoughts on “Metta and a Trickster

  1. This is a post that I should read, read again, and then read yet again. In fact I should read it until I depart this world. I ain’t too good at forgiveness or love for those who make my life difficult. Probably what is worse is that not only do I recognize the fact, but I also understand it. That is, I rather enjoy being pissed off and despising certain people and classes of people.

    Years ago when I first felt the tugging of spiritual pursuits, the realization that there might be something genuinely more to life than the existential crisis of atheism or the sin and brimstone of the old white guy with a beard ready to fire lightening bolts into my ass every time I had an impure thought, I used to get frustrated with the fact that I seemed to get no closer to Enlightenment no matter how hard I tried. Then the realization struck me that I am not ready yet. I don’t want to be Enlightened because I haven’t done all the things that we need to do in our lives on the material plane.

    I used to fear reincarnation, who the hell wants to go through high school or the draft again? Who wants to do that in some third world country with an empty belly (I am not sure that we are guaranteed first world accommodations in future lives). But because it makes a lot of sense, I have come to a grudging acceptance that, yes I am going to get to do this all over again and probably for many times.

    There is a great freedom in that acceptance. I don’t have to feel guilty any more for being pissed off and despising certain classes of people. I will deal with that in some future life. For now, I don’t feel that I have to love alleged rapists who aspire for the highest offices in the land. I don’t have to turn the other cheek to those who think that they should be able to ram rod these people along for political expediency. I can despise people who can vote to take care of the .1% at the the expense of the 99.9%. I can dislike bishops who regard the Church more important than victims. And I can despise people who think football is more important than sexual abuse.

    I really should try to be better. More understanding. Screw that, I like being pissed off. Next life time, I am going to work on it.

    Excellent post. I should read it again.

    Liked by 1 person

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