To err is human, to forgive divine…
One can take the above quote and meditate on it for a very long time, because there are many situations in Life that teaches us it is better to act with forgiveness.
For one, sparing the mental anguish on the part of the forgiver is justified. Not forgiving someone for whatever past misdeeds done will only plant seeds of negative emotions in the non-forgiver. Seeds of disappointment, indifference, hatred and anger, and even bitterness. Emotions that won’t have a healthy impact on the non-forgiver in the long run.
This is why meditation is so important.
We need to clear our minds of this mental debris. Otherwise, it will only magnify the negative thoughts in our minds.
A lot of these negative thoughts also have to do with the Ego. And in another future post, I’ll delve into the 7 Deadly Sins and why it is essential to avoid them. But for now let’s discuss Ego, which correlates to the nature of Pride.
And by Pride we mean the kind of Pride that puts oneself above others in a very negative way. Thus, it is one of the 7 Deadly Sins and perhaps the deadliest.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
“Pride is considered, on almost every list, the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins: the source of the others. It is identified as believing that one is essentially better than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God)”.
It’s one thing to say that we are proud of our children, or having taken pride in one’s work. But, the kind of Pride we’re talking about here is the Pride that creates a negativity and puts one above others. And there is good reason that Pride is the source of the other deadly sins, like Greed, Gluttony, Wrath and Lust. These are sins that serve the sinner in very self-centered and selfish ways.
Pride is the one sin that acknowledges that the sinner himself is above others, even God, and especially when the individual doesn’t acknowledge God’s existence.
Pride is the type of sin that will forego any means of forgiveness.
But meditation, and in Zen Buddhism, Zazen in particular, will have the power to vanquish all these negative thoughts that can lead one to negative actions and misdeeds.
Clearing the mind of any pre-conceived thoughts is the path to mental clarity and purity of thought.
What are these negative thoughts?
Imagine trains of thought running through your mind, and not attaching any emotions to them. Just let them run free and watching these thoughts come and go. Then slowly make them disappear in your mind. Finally clearing the mind of thoughts and any relation you had to them.
This can be the most difficult task to do in meditation, because it is the vanquishing of the Ego that makes us separate from our environment, our world, our universe, when in the ultimate reality, we are simply one with everything. We are a part of everything. The air we breathe in order to live is from around us. We are interdependent with our environment. If the environment gets sick, we get sick.
When we realize that we are one with everything and everyone around us, then we have conquered our Egos. And the people around us benefit from our good deeds and actions, or they suffer from our sins and misdeeds.
And the more one contemplates on the simple act of meditation, the more one finds its value as self-therapy and as a means to find some clarity in one’s Life.
And the quality of one’s Life is dependent on our attitude and how we perceive the world around us. Meditation helps us realize this. To many Westerners, or those raised in this Westernized society, Meditation might simply be regarded as pure nonsense. Underestimated. Disregarded as some New Age bullshit.
And this is where the Ego, once again, justifies something like Meditation as pure nonsense, even though the individual has not REALLY tried it, or has NOT succeeded in actually meditating, or is not even an expert.
But that happens a lot in Life. People becoming judgmental and dismissing something like Meditation as irrelevant, when they haven’t even actually tried it or practiced it themselves.
Meditation is like studying the piano. You have to practice it in order to get good. You have to spend the time practicing it in order to become an expert.
Until then, if you don’t believe Meditation works, you probably haven’t successfully meditated.
And one’s Pride gets in the way again.
Forgiveness… acknowledges that humans err, and if at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Forgiveness is divine. But divine… is even more divine.
Meditating on forgiveness is even better for now.
That is all.