I remember I had written a post, Mirrors, talking about everyone is our own mirror, which reflects different part of ourselves.
There was a famous true story in Chinese history.
One of the most famous and talented artist, Su, was a good friend of a wise monk. Su always wanted to defeat his friend, especially in understanding of Buddhist doctrine. One day, they meditated together sitting in the lotus position. Su asked the monk:
“What do I look like right now in this meditation posture?"
“Like a Buddha," replied the monk.
Su was satisfied with the answer. Then his friend asked him the same question, and Su replied: “Like a shit!!"
The master smiled, clasped his hands and said: “Amidabha."
After getting home, Su was eager to show off and told his sister about the conversation, hoping to get compliments. Instead, however, his intellectual sister made an unexpected statement:
“My brother, actually you lost today. Your friend has Buddha all in his mind, so he sees only Buddha in his eyes. And obviously you are full of rubbish in your mind, so you see the clear-mind master as a pile of shit. So, do you still think you won?"
I learned this story when I was young, before getting in touch with spiritual growth teachings, and so I didn’t realize what it really meant. However, with time goes by, I’m aware of the truthfulness of this story, or the wisdom within, more and more.
There are different levels of state of mind. “Seeing only love" is the highest, which is also what we are taught in the angelic levels in A Course In Light. No matter the good or the bad, defined by our society, there’s love and light within.
Then comes “no judgement", which is one of the most important teachings in spiritual growth topic, and it’s also one of the most difficult practices to achieve as human minds make comments to everything easily…almost automatically. The concept lies in that everything in the world is neutral, only our judgement makes it right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or ugly.
After that, it’s “forgiveness." When we witnessed or suffered from a seem-to-be-unforgivable behavior, we could get annoyed, irritated, angry, furious and curse the person with the meanest words, or we could also see it as a reflection of our inner turbulence, hence blame no others, which results in release of negative emotions and forgiveness, not of the behavior itself, but of the situation and people (including ourselves) involved.
I have a very active and judgemental mind, so the way I work on reaching higher level of state of mind is try to see things from different perspectives as a start.
I have two believes; one is “my mind creates my own reality", and the other is “everybody is trying to make the best choice they can make in their own world, which may totally different from my world."
So, every now and then, when I encountered unpleasant situations, I’d ask myself “if there’s anything unbalanced in my mind, which caused this incident, as a reflection and reminder of my state of mind?" Then, after I admitted that I had to take responsibility for all the things happening in my life, I would tried to see things from the perspective of the other part and tried to walk in their shoes.
Surprisingly, this action makes me forgive almost everyone/everything easily, since once I learned the reason they behaved like that, I just couldn’t hate them and point my finger at them anymore.
Of course, I don’t approve of all the things being done and words being said, but just like I said above, everyone could only make decisions to the best of their own knowledge…and sometimes their world and view could be varied from mine, and even limited or narrow. Hence, how can I blame someone who doesn’t know better, or simply lives in an entirely different world from mine?
I see this world as a big mirror reflecting all about me. If I see beauty in life, I know I’m beautiful; if I see love in every person I meet, I know I’m lovable; if I see peace in all incidents in my life, I know I’ve obtained calmness. And like the master in the story, if I see Buddha in everything, I become a Buddha.
As I said in my old post that we always have the ability to turn our reflections in the mirrors into lovely ones, we also have the ability to transform others’ reflections. Don’t forget the fact that the world is interactive; while our images are reflected in others, they see their images in us as well. If we responded to their inappropriate behaviors with rage, hatred, and unforgiving thoughts, we “turned" them into monsters, which in turn causing them doing more nasty things as they “had to" act like monsters.
Some people said I have a stable mind, but that’s not always true. I got disturbed, upset, and hurt easily, but then I adjusted my thinking in order to release and forgive, so I could be a peaceful mirror of others, which mitigated the argument or the unpleasant situation, which as a new reflection of my state of mind being reaching stability.
We are neither saints nor the Buddha, so it’s normal we cannot stay in calmness all the time. Though a simple word might ruin our clear mind just like a pebble causes ripples on the still water, the virtue is in how quick we can ease the wrinkles, and recover to a clear and reflective mirror again.
The world reflects our minds; people we interact with reflect our qualities, and vise versa. If we can be aware of this and realize its truthfulness, a lot of emotional/mental sufferings and conflicts can be avoided. Our ancestors had taught us this true wisdom, but it’s up to us now whether to believe or apply it or not.