Mr. Loving-Kindness

Loving-kindness is one of the types of Buddhist meditation I practice. It brings about a peaceful, loving mind that accepts the world in a compassionate light. That being the case, how do you explain the following:

A few days ago I read in the New York Times that it was the first anniversary of the detainment and imprisonment of three young Americans who were hiking near the Iranian boarder. Apparently, there are some pretty waterfalls in the area and it’s a popular area to hike. They either strayed over the boarder into Iran or got close enough to be grabbed and are now being held in prison. The government of Iran has accused them of being spies. There is no trial date set.

The first thought in my loving-kindness mind? Why the hell are you hiking alone near the Iranian boarder?! Use you head. Their poor families are tormented. After that bit of rudeness, I meditated on their release.

The very next day I read a horrific story in the local paper about an 18-year old high school football player who died in an auto accident. He was driving a 2009 BMW at 1:00 a.m., lost control and crashed into a house at a high rate of speed.

The first thought out of my loving-kindness mind? Why the hell would you let an 18-year old high school football player (they tend to be on the aggressive side) drive a rocket like a 2009 BMW?! At 1:00 in the morning? Use your head. Do you know what my kids are going to drive when they’re 18 and still in high school? This:


When I was done with my negative thoughts, I meditated for the family’s grief and wished them well.

Meditation has taught me that I can be a judgmental prick sometimes.

I am shown how it’s done:

A few days later, I was sitting by a fountain with 8-Year Old Daughter. She pointed out a brass placard attached to it that said all the money taken from the fountain is donated to charity. She asked for a penny. She held it in her hand, closed her eyes tight and tossed it in. We sat quietly for a few moments and watched the water dance. I asked her what she wished for, certain it would be a new Pillow Pet (the current rage in the suburbs) or some other bauble.

“I wished that a lot of people would throw money into the fountain for the charity.”

What do you do with a kid like that?

* * *

Tomorrow morning we’re leaving for lovely Cleveland to visit my family. There will be swimming. There will be a county fair. There will be expertly grilled ribs and homemade marinara sauce with, perhaps, some oxtail in it.

17 thoughts on “Mr. Loving-Kindness

  1. It’s easy to see the stupidity of others, not so much to feel genuine compassion for the suffering they cause to themselves and those around them. You’re obviously making progress with the meditation :)What do you do with a daughter like that? Um, feel inadequate? Or proud.

  2. I think you were right to think as you did. To embrace loving kindness does NOT mean jettisoning common sense. IMO.What do you do with a kid like that? You thank Heaven you got something right.Safe journey.

  3. There’s also perogi, East Coast Custard, The Big Egg and scary late night Metroparks drives – I loves me some C-land! Oh, and I know you’re MLC, but don’t mention anything about Lebron, they’re just not ready.

  4. PG: I feel awful for the suffering the families are going through and angry at the thoughtlessness of it.kykn: So far, she doesn’t care a whole lot about money. I’m pretty sure that’ll change.Daisy: The first step is identifying the dark thoughts. Then, attempt to eradicate them. I have a long way to go.Pat: Thanks for your good wishes. When things like that come out of her mouth it makes me wonder where it all went right.Cat: We’re all looking forward to the trip. The Daughters especially. They love the cousins.Sally: I’m sitting here reading your comment with my mouth agape. I spent may a drunken morning at The Big Egg after a stint in the Detroit Av. clubs (The Phantasy or Brothre’s Lounge listening to Robert Lockwood Jr.) or down in the flats (when the flats were still kind of dangerous.) My mom use to go on dates at the Harbor Inn!!!! That’s how long that place has been around!Dina: We did. Sort of. She just turned 4. Thanks for your good wishes.

  5. Kid that good don’t deserve car that bad. Know what I’m saying. Peace be with you:)I’m looking up this meditation thing right now. Lord knows I could use some deep breathing.

  6. Hahaha @ kyknoord’s comment but on a more serious note, it’s great that she’s already thinking in such a mature way. I’d probably wish for a pony or something. That’s how I roll.

  7. Map: Here in the U.S. Cleveland is one of those cities that are pretty much looked down on and made fun of, but it’s actually a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.Jo: I wonder if she could somehow parlay her charitable nature into a well-paying career?Leah: When you meditate, you don’t leave your common sense at the door and pick it up on the way out.Nimpipi: They’ll get what they get and they won’t get upset.Nurse: It’s too bad they don’t issue parenting report cards. It’s a class I’d finally get a good grade in.Nutty: That’s how I would think, too. That’s why I don’t know where it comes from! And, yes, kyknoord always leaves top-shelf comments.

  8. I do think it’s sad that before visiting a place renowned for its beauty one must consider there might be murderous bastards nearby, but you’re right: what were they thinking?!The only thing you can do with a kid like that is intill in her that there are murderous bastards out there, without actually terrifying her, and be grateful that she is yours.

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