What About Compassion
Just a short horse’s ride from where Chief Sitting Bull came to rest during his efforts to fight for his people, I had been walking. What an honour.
With the previous evening’s rain, and night time darkness, many salamanders came out of their areas to make a migration over the ruthless road. Blotches of their remains stain the highway. When I saw one fellow trying to make his way across, I felt I owed him one, given I had caused one of his maybe cousins to curl, squirm and squeal with my umbrella’s tip the other day. In my curiosity and exploration, I believe I gave him some pain.
“Let me treat this new guy nicely,” I thought. And then I remembered having a chat with a newspaper journalist who had come to interview me in 2007. He relayed how he was trying to do something “karmically safe” when in a grumpy mood he kicked severely a neighbours dog. He felt terribly guilty after that and decided to purchase a dog of the same breed and to look after him just to make amends.
With the same sentiment I thought I would approach the salamander and be nice to him. I stretched my body fully lying on the road (it was a quiet hour), I gave him a stroke on his head, then his back, tail and belly. He seemed to like it to the point where he remained stationary for the petting. He even closed his eyes. He then moved toward me to get more affection.
Because of this little exchange I was compelled to try it on two other guys. They reciprocated the same way. It looks like the non violent approach really works. I earned the title ‘Ghandi’ today from a motorist who shouted out the name even though he was unaware of what I had done previously.
In the afternoon it was in Regina at the ISKCON Center that I gave a talk from the Bhagavad Gita verse 5.20 which reads:
“A person who neither rejoices upon acheiveing something pleasant, nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self intelligent, unbewildered, and he knows the science of the Absolute is to be understood to be already situated in transcendence.”
This is not to say that there are to be no feelings of compassion, but one must appreciate the neutral stance we benefit from in dealing with the dualities of this world.
I’d like to thank Justin Crann of the Moose Jaw Time Harold, who got us on the front page of the long weekend issue. In the picture I am portrayed chanting and playing on the dolak drum. The caption in bold reads, “On The Long Road To Enlightenment”. Thanks, Justin.