Many of you have written to me in response to my letter and I’m so very grateful it’s been helpful. For those who courageously engage in a spiritual practice, there is an intimate awareness of the law of karma. Having visited some of our own inner places of sorrow, we know intimately that all we do to others we find in our self and our greatest challenge becomes how to heal and forgive – first our self and then, from that place, to extend compassion and forgiveness to others.
Some of you have seen the letter I received from a man in the maximum security section of Pelican State Prison. He had read my book, An Ordinary Life Transformed: Lessons for Everyone from the Bhagavad Gita, and wrote how the book had helped him to find an inner freedom even as he sat in his prison cell. It got me thinking about William, Steven, Quinn and Chris. How can we come to compassion for them and their families as we can for Kimberly and Jaime and their extended family? How can we authentically grapple with holding those who commit harmful action accountable while also feeling deep compassion for them? I would offer that a good place to start is in our own spiritual practice where we practice holding our own wrongful doing in a loving way. While we may not be able to personally identify with a particular act of wrong doing, whom among us has not held enough pain and suffering to be able to identify with the despair that can give rise to such actions?
I have contacted my former colleagues in the Souhegan Interfaith Council as a starting place to begin a dialog about how we authentically move from fearing to loving the perpetrators of harm among us. I will let you know what transpires and how you may join us in this dialogue to continuing being a force for good for all of our brothers and sisters. Meanwhile, I have posted these comments on our blog to start the dialogue…