This week, among all the many horrible stories in the news, two particularly stuck out ... Tears were not enough. I wanted to scream! So sickening and heart breaking all at once!
A disturbing video caught by surveillance cameras shows a 2-year-old girl in China laying in the street bleeding, a victim of a hit and run. Even more shocking is that the toddler was then ignored by at least 18 people. Video of the incident, which took place Oct. 13, shows pedestrians and vehicles passing by the toddler, named Yueyue, after she was run over outside her family's shop in the Chinese city of Foshan. A single person stopped to help the child as she lay bloody on the narrow street. At least 18 people passed by on bikes, in vehicles, or on foot.
... and ...
Philadelphia police showed on Monday the "dungeon" where four mentally challenged adults were held captive by three suspects accused of stealing their disability checks. The cramped, 6-foot-high, 15-foot-wide bomb shelter was hidden behind a steel door in the basement of a home in the city's Tacony section. The four adults were abused and kept in cellar since early October, where they were given only water to drink and fed just once a day by their captors, police said. Police also said that the wounds found on Beatrice Weston, the 19-year-old niece of the alleged ringleader, Linda Weston, where the worst wounds they had ever seen on a living person. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, "I've never seen anything like this in a living person. It's remarkable that she is still alive. There is no penalty too harsh for the people that did this. The word horrific is not sufficient."
Nonetheless, even with all this, the Xin Xin Ming advices us to drop opinions and judgments and "things can no longer offend".
Drop opinions and judgments, and these events will 'cease to offend'?
EVEN IN THE FACE OF SUCH TRAGEDY?!
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend ...
When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes,
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind);
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
Yes! Even then it is so!
EVEN THEN! EVEN THEN! EVEN THEN!
But what I wished to bring out more in today's talk is that so much still offends ... offends even beyond all offending! The vision of Wholeness which results does not make us numb and uncaring, but calls us to wish to fix what is broken! To lend a helping hand (as in the picture above of a Bodhisattva Good Samaritan aiding that little girl). Far from making our hearts cold and numb to such horrors, we open our hearts wider ... so wide and spacious that they hold all the broken pieces, the ugliness and tears. Wisdom and Compassion boundless.
I mention today the Jewish concept of Tikkun olam (Hebrew: תיקון עולם), a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world". Tikkun olam encompasses both the outer and the inner, both service to society by helping those in need and repairing the broken pieces within each of us too. It implies that each person has a hand in working towards the betterment of his or her own existence as well as the lives of future generations. Humanity's responsibility to change, improve, and fix its earthly surroundings is powerful. Tikkun olam forces people to take ownership of this world.
Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended