Compassion for those who do great harm in the world

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Female prisoners in Ravensbrück, the white cha...

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O God,
remember not only the men and women of good will

but also those of evil will.
And in remembering the suffering

they inflicted upon us,

honor the fruits we have borne

thanks to this suffering

-- our comradeship, our humility,
our compassion, our courage,

our generosity, the greatness of heart

that has grown out of all this;

and when they come to the judgment,

let all the fruits that we have borne,
be their forgiveness.

The Ravensbrück prayer, found on a scrap of paper tied to the body of a dead woman and child.
 In working with gurukula students on the meditation on compassion for those who do great harm in the world, we considered this prayer as a source of inspiration. Much as our Earth and its human and animal inhabitants suffer as a result of those who do great harm, far greater suffering is incurred on the part of the perpetrators themselves. In this life they suffer from their negative emotions and their disconnection from their true nature and in subsequent rebirths they suffer from their negative karma.  So it is important to extend karuna or compassion to those who do great harm. Learn how to do this  meditation in Sharon Salzberg's book Loving Kindness.  
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    This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on March 14, 2010 8:27 PM.

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