This will be a day of reflectionand remembrance for many. Five years ago, I was in Shelbourne, MA, in a meditation center during a 10-day long intensive. I remember when our silence was temporarily broken so we could gather in the dining hall and were informed that planes had crashed into the both towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and another plane had crashed in Pennsylvania.
After a few questions and answers (and no, no one really knew anything more than that), silence resumed, with the injunction: This is why we practice.
I was deeply affected by the tragedy, as everyone else was. Yet, I found when I came back, that I was not “caught up” in the whirlpools of fear, rage, war fever, and apocalyptic concern that seemed to be engulfing so many around me in Hampton Roads. Somehow, even though I was in the storm, I wasn’t being blown about by it.
I soon also gained an insight into karma and the cycle of violence. I believe the fuel of violence is resentment. As long as resentment isn’t dealt with, conflict remains, and the conclusion of one war lays the conditions for the next one. If I needed any further confirmation that peacemaking first depends on making peace within, that was it.
I need to keep on with my practice.