Sunday, April 5, 2009

PSB today: quote correction

Valarie Zehl quoted me in today's Press and Sun Bulletin, thus:

``William Huston of Binghamton reminded those gathered
of the lyrics of a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song:
"We have all been here before."
This is the not the first - and likely not the last -
senseless slaughter of innocent people.``

I must say that my comment
"We have all been here before"   (from the song Deja Vu)
was NOT meant to foretell more senseless shootings!
As the article indicates.

I dearly hope there are no more.

My reading of the Forgiveness Meditation was from
the Buddhist tradition.
From this tradition,
"We have all been here before"
means past lives, past incarnations.

means: None if us are so innocent.
We have all been each other's murderer,
We have all been the "innocent" victim.
We have all been the grieving family member or friend.

Even if one doesn't believe in past-lives:
We have all caused each other harm in this lifetime.

"We have all been here before"
is also an allusion
to the Clinton and Sullivan  "Scorched Earth" campaign,
the trail of tears which was the beginning of the genocide
of the native population, which began at
what we now call Confluence Park
where we all were standing.

That time, it was white people: my people:
who were foreigners then, who "acted out"...
used violence against natives to try to
solve problems/meet needs.

So, my people are just like the shooter.

Violence never solves any problems.
Violence never works to meet needs.

From the Buddhist perspective,
The thing which will transform the world,
is NOT more violence.
It is self-transformation.

Offering compassion, and loving-kindness,
offering forgiveness,
and also asking for forgiveness.

To practice: Never wishing another harm.
To never ridicule another person for any reason.
To always wish all other beings happiness.

When I grew up, I was raised in a culture of violence.
Where in popular movies Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson
showed us that vigilante violence WAS an appropriate solution
towards solving problems and meeting needs.

And then we wonder why we have wars and mass shootings?

We have to transform ourselves
for all parties, including the shooter
and only then will the external world change.

Here was the reading, which we all should practice,
Try spending some time with this today:

(from Against the Stream, by Noah Levine)

I ask for your forgiveness.
Please forgive me for causing you harm.
I now understand my actions were unskillful,
that my actions hurt you, and I ask for your forgiveness.

I forgive you.
I forgive you for all the ways that you have caused me harm.
I now offer you forgiveness,
whether the hurt came through my actions, thoughts, or words.

I know I am responsible for my actions, and I offer my forgiveness.


Bill Huston
Binghamton NY
Phone: 607-321-7846

Email:  WilliamAHuston at gmail

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