I was back in Penang last weekend for Qingming and an unusual event unfolds in my mind that I wish to share here. While waiting at the premise for the event to end, I noticed a guy on a bike came calling out for help. In most usual cases, I will just either ignore the plea of that person or maybe moved away from it. Due to the many unpleasant stories of the past which my mind buys into, I will always be in doubt whether those cases are genuine or not.
But this time round I noticed the doubt in my mind and instead of ignoring him, I gave the guy a sum of money as his plea to support his family. He requested for more and I am certain the amount that I gave is what I can offer. As I moved away from him, I noticed from afar a sweeper of the temple waving at me not to give. That instant moment I noticed a tiny guilt arising in my space of what I have done. This is the usual scenario that most of us would have encountered each time when a good deed is done and someone intercepted us with another idea and changes our mind of what we have done.
Somehow in that moment instead of regretting, surprisingly, understanding arises in the mind, showing me very clearly that this very mind that I experience has two potentials – generosity and stinginess. They are impersonal potentials – not me or mine. I can’t even give credit as “me” at that moment when understanding arises. They arise out of different conditions – there is just no right or wrong attached to it – except that one feels loving and the other unloved. In the past, the attention will be on both the persons – one seemingly ‘cheated’ me and the other ‘good samaritan’ advising me. In this way of viewing, they became my target of attack or defense. In such situation, it would have felt ‘so right” to make another right or wrong and make myself either in bitterness or self-blame. Often than not, pride arises thereon – doesn’t matter whether it is superiority, inferiority or equality – all are just defilements in pursuit. Whereas when understanding arises, it is no longer about anyone outside of this mind. Not even about “me”. It is about what is potentially in the mind that can ripen according to the situation.ovingnl
I can never imagine such profound potential for understanding that can arise in the mind. It is pretty amazing how such gift can take place without me needing to think it out by myself – even if I can, it is just a dishonest coverup of what I am hurt about. In the past, it would have been either right or wrong. It was such an unusual occurrence as compared to all such similar past experiences and I am just thankful that wisdom has done a good job out of it, instead of delusion taking precedent in that brief event. From this learning, if we take the initiative to be interested in our own mind, instead of targeting bodies, often then not, an unexpected gift of miracle is given. Each time wisdom never fails to show again only when there is a willingness to learn about our own mind.