Thursday, September 21, 2006

More Fun

This past weekend I had more fun.  Majida and I went to the Abode to do the Universal Worship service.   After the service and after brunch in the dining hall I went to Omega Publications, the Abode book store to sign copies of my book.  More fun.

I had another fun thing happen this morning.  I was in a line of traffic, waiting for a light to change.  When it did change I was a bit slow off the mark and the fellow behind me started honking.  Then he pulled up on my right side to go around me, invective showing on his face as he cursed me through the closed windows of our two vehicles, forcing his way in front of me, so he was 25 feet closer to the next red light.  Of course he was driving an SUV.   My very first reaction was to leap from the car and challenge him to a fight.  That reaction was quickly suppressed for the silly idea it was.  My next reaction was to simply be angry.  Finally I settled on being amused.  Then I felt kind of sad.  This guy got seriously angry over someone being a little slow at a stop light.  He was actually mad, beyond angry and into mad.  The look on his face was full of violence and accusation.  It would have been appropriate if I had perhaps, well I can't think of anything bad enough to draw such a look.  Obviously he thought I had violated some illusion that he had about his personal importance and the importance of how he expects traffic to move.  The question is, why?  Why put all of this energy into something so minor, something which only existed in his mind.  All because I was a little slow.  What do you suppose this kind of expression is doing to his psyche?  Do you think he ever has fun?  

How many of us expect the world to react badly to the way we think it should be and then, in a kind of perverse delight, we express our disappointment or anger when our expectations are met.  What is sad about my friend from this morning was that he was expending all of that energy on something that existed only in his mind.  

One of the side effects of meditation is patience.  I used to be very impatient, not so different from the fellow this morning.  I was always looking for a reason to be offended.  And I often was offended.  As I recall the emotions, I think I was afraid that there was little or no adventure in my life and I needed to create some.  Sounds strange, but that is what I recall.  Then I began to meditate and do various spiritual practices and things began to change.  Not without pain I might add.  These changes only came because I began to realize that I was often inappropriate in my reactions.  

As patience is slowly discovered some very strange things happen.  All of the reactions that you thought you needed suddenly seem to be quite silly, but they are still there.  For me the anger was there, the disgust at minor illusory infractions, the constant need to be disappointed, all there.  At the same time patience was growing.   Things got pretty confused for awhile.  To tell the truth they were confused for quite awhile.  

Now that I am finally having fun I wonder why it took so long to realize that none of this is serious.  Or, put a better way, it is too serious to take seriously.  There are many things that are important but first among them is, "Do No Harm."   When you take the small things seriously then harm to someone results.  Instead see if you can find a way to allow things to happen that are not that important and give your attention to what is really important, your inner life.  

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

1 comment:

Sarala said...

My experience of traffic stupidity is from the very exposed and vulnerable perspective of my bicycle seat. So when a driver cuts me or another motor vehicle off, runs a stop sign or red light (many times a day here in Philadelphia), it is truly a threat to my life. That driver's lack of awareness and consideration for their actions' affects on the people around them infuriates me. My response is to shout epitats like "selfish" when I'm in a calm mood and explitive deletives when I'm stressed myself.

My fondest memory of a traffic bully situation was when a group of motorcyclists zoomed up behind our car, harrassing us by shining their high beams, reving their engines and fishtailing around and in front of us. We laughed and applauded when a police car pulled out from it's parking spot on a side street and pulled them all over.