Advertisement

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

The New Boston Massacre: Marathon Bombing

I went to college in Boston; I did my internship in Boston and I lived there in between. I’ve watched the finish line of the marathon at the place where the bombs exploded. This event has riveted the attention of Americans and the rest of the world as evidenced by the amount of news coverage.

I was listening to the BBC yesterday morning and was struck by the juxtaposition of the Boston story with the report of an earthquake in Iran where forty people were killed. This event did not receive special news coverage. I wonder why? There are several reasons for this.

Advertisement

1). That news involves others (and reviled others at that)

2). An earthquake as an “act of god” fits into a different category. It is an unfortunate event but we expect that they will occur. Earthquakes are not preventable.

3). The bombing is an act of terror and is therefore preventable. It “shouldn’t happen.”

We are not just reacting to the loss of limb and life, we are reacting to the perceived injustice of the event. The violation of of it. If the earth reaches up and harms us it is one thing; if a human-made bomb does the same thing, it is another.

It reminds me of the teaching story of the rowboat. Imagine you are relaxing in a rowboat on a lake. An empty, adrift rowboat collides into your boat disturbing your repose. Now imagine the boat is not empty but has someone in it. Our emotions are likely to be different. Surprise in the first scenario, indignation in the second.

Advertisement

The marathon bombing provokes indignation. This shouldn’t happen and yet it did.

The new Boston massacre deserves all the special news coverage that it is receiving. As I commented on Newtown shooting, there are tragedies everyday somewhere in the world. Many of these don’t get a voice or not a prolonged strong voice.

This event helps to wake us up out of apathy and a false sense of safety. It mobilizes heroic action and compassion. Can we be awake to our lives without such tragedies?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Anya

    thanks Arnie; I’m with you all the way on this teaching. We send drones; others build explosives.

    Hatred will never cease by hatred. Hatred will only cease by love. This is an eternal law.

    I am reading your blog to support the studio :) Anya

Previous Posts

Everything Essential Buddhism Book
I was recently on the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV in Vermont. We spoke about the Buddha and Buddhism themes that are covered in my new book, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book. It's always a pleasure to talk with mark and a touch of sadness to ...

posted 10:05:58am Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Don't Own Your Mind
Our brains are little factories. Their chief product is, of course, thoughts. They also manufacture images, memories, and emotions. Best of all, they fabricate stories. Our brains can do this unbidden, without any direction from us. Given the ...

posted 6:36:24pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Relationships 2.0 Interview August 11
Tune in Tuesday August 11 at 6 PM (3 PM PST) for my radio conversation with Dr. Michelle Skeen, host of Relationships 2.0. We'll be discussing relationship challenges for introverts and guidance from my book, The Awakened Introvert. If you ...

posted 9:00:13pm Aug. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Mindfulness A to Z
2015 has been a busy year for me publishing books. In May, The Awakened Introvert came out (New Harbinger). In July, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book came out (Adams Media). Soon, Mindfulness A to Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now (Wisdom ...

posted 12:46:02pm Aug. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Life Interrupted
I've been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won't be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My mind will ...

posted 4:50:31pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.