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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

The Dalai Lama, bin Laden and forgiveness ~

Lately I’ve been losing sleep (really) over the rhetoric on the news about bin Laden’s death. People are rejoicing, and somehow, that seems wrong to me. Although I understand it when it’s New Yorkers — after all, their city was devastated by 9/11 and bin Laden’s machinations. Many NYers still struggle w/ the aftereffects of that terrible day: illness, PTSD, the loss of family and friends.

And perhaps it’s because I don’t know how I feel about bin Laden’s death myself. He was, undoubtedly, a very  bad person. I don’t use the term ‘evil’ very often, but he has to come pretty close. Because love is such a big part of my spiritual path, I try hard to forgive people for what they do. I think that’s important. But forgive bin Laden? Wow…

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Forgiveness is hard at the best of times. Probably one of the hardest things we can attempt. And when we know that the wrong-doer was incredibly, amazingly, horrifically wrong, the difficulty is compounded almost infinitely.

So it’s with deep relief that I bring you the Dalai Lama on bin Laden’s death. I felt so much better after reading this:

As a human being, Bin Laden may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness, the Dalai Lama said in answer to a question about the assassination of the Al Qaeda leader. But, he said, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.” ~ Dalai Lama at USC, LA Times

Counter-measures. Somehow the very word implies more balance than I had felt previously. Thank you, Your Holiness, from an Okie still trying to make sense of this complex world. I don’t have to forgive bin Laden’s actions, or even him. I can go on to the next conundrum the world poses for me :).

 

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