While shopping in the local natural foods market,
I saw Elliot, a guy I was in the monastery with for about 10 years.
I was delighted to see him and went up to him to say hello.
He left the monastery we were in and joined the official organization that represented the teacher we both had followed.
There was some bad blood between the two groups
and I noticed as we were speaking, I was starting to feel put down and judged.
He was talking down to me
And when I asked him why he was doing it,
He said because I know you, Danny.
And he went on to describe (not even accurately) the person that I was 20 years ago.
I said to him, Elliot over the course of 20 years, we all change.
You have no idea who I am now, because you have not even asked.
The conversation got more and more uncomfortable.
He was telling me that I left and was no longer meditating and that I was living a life that was of no value because the only value in this world is finding God.
And finally, I said to him, how do you know what I am doing now?
We have not seen each other in many, many years.
He continued to tell me who I was and why I was wrong to live the way I was living.
It felt like the conversation was not going anywhere,
so I said goodbye and went away.
As I drove home, I thought about it.
This brother had spent 40 years meditating, 40 years!
The result of those 40 years of meditation in the moment I saw him was:
judgement, arrogance, condescension, and pride of pedigree.
Where was the love that his guru had come here to teach?
Where was the kindness of heart?
I left feeling so sad for him.
40 years of meditation had left him like this, at least in the moment I was with him.
It made me realize . . . .
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU DO OR WHAT YOU SAY,
IT MATTERS WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU BECOME!
Let’s love each other more, judge each other less and be kind to all sentient beings.