Meditation Column: Words and deeds can have hurtful consequences

Hurt simply means to cause injury or physical pain. It also may refer to damage done or to cause harm in some sort of way to a person, a situation, the environment, etc. Hurt is not only a physical condition or harm, it may refer to emotional damage caused to someone or even societies. For instance, “the current weather conditions have put a hurt on the nation’s economy” or “the loss of their leader left the citizens in great despair.” The majority of us try not to hurt each other or the things around us. Unfortunately, we have all found ourselves in situations where our word or deeds have hurt others. It is the accidental suffering we cause each other that becomes the object of observation for the student of meditation.

The student entered the office of the teacher with their head hanging low. “Something troubles you.” The student said, “I had an argument over a meaningless thing with a dear friend. Before I knew it I was saying the most dreadful things, which obviously hurt my friend beyond reconciliation. I was hoping to make a point with words of encouragement. Instead, I was cruel and condescending. Unexpectedly, the damage I caused bounced back on myself and now causes me great anguish.” The teacher said, “Yes, often times our careless words create great suffering in others, especially those who are vulnerable to such actions. Fortunately, the situation offers the opportunity for you to learn. The truth of the matter is that you don’t have to help anyone, but you don’t have to damage them, either. Embrace your friend, share the experience and allow the happening to move you both toward peace, love and conscious awareness.”

A meditation, try it out here and there, when it comes to mind intentionally or do not. Bring your observation to moments or happenings that went on in your day or to things happening currently. Be aware in this situation that you are using the past, even if quite recent, as a tool for learning. If the observation pulls you into self-judgment or condemnation or the opposite, a stroke on your ego or self-esteem, remember that is more thought, the object of this meditation is to observe the results of your words and deeds. That being said, as you reflect on your actions, acknowledge whether the words or deed had a positive or what you may label as negative reaction by the listener or the world. Did you cause “hurt?” For instance, “I approached the group as they were enjoying (in joy) the moment, when I told a dreadful story that altered the mode of the group and created suffering in their lives.” Or, “My careless littering had an overall negative impact on the environment.” The plan here is to bring your behaviors to conscious awareness, not to condemn yourself, but to set the stage for effortless change.

It’s a new day. Your day. ••