Compassion for terrorism

Question: “On what Dalai Lama wrote about compassion – that we should wish the best for all beings as long as they experience happiness and pain – what about something like terrorism?”

Despite how we view or how others or the media view terrorists, they too have the ability to love. If they were not terrorists, then they would just be another sentient being that we would be extending our love to. But because they have great delusion and ignorance, their minds are clouded with anger and hate and can’t see clearly the beauty and love of the world, and so they destroy the world that they see.

A major part of our Buddhist practice is the practice of equanimity. Equanimity is a lot of things, but it is also the practice of seeing and treating everyone with equality. If we are diligent in our practice and have experienced great understanding, then we no longer see people as man or woman, young or old, gay or straight, black or white – we simply see a human being, equal to all other human beings; a future Buddha, equal to all other Buddhas.

It’s hard to love the hated. Loving or even just liking someone that we really don’t like is difficult. But what we don’t like or even hate is not them as a person, we dislike their personality and ego, which are separate from that person’s true self. So when we can realize that most people act and do things according to their culture and up brining, and not because it’s the “right or wrong” thing to do in our view, then it becomes less difficult to dislike them.

Meditation on loving-kindness and equanimity is a powerful and very helpful meditation. Practice is diligently and you will soon see the beauty in a chaotic world.


Smile and be well!


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