Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 12/12/2018


What if the intense depression and anxiety I felt for a little overt twenty four hours was a gift? After asking to take on the sufferings of mother beings (despite the impossibility of suffering for another), what if Avalokiteshvara or another celestial bodhisattva heard my petitions and decided to test me by sending me an idea of what that would mean? I really don’t know but it’s an interesting thought, especially because there war boring else to account for the sudden arising of such mental darkness.

The one thing I do know for certain is that the day of suffering had deepened my compassion for other beings in a way that is truly visceral. Even armed with various Dhamma teachings I was almost completely helpless in the face of such intense anxiety, depression and darkness. Imagine how much worse it is for beings wholly without contact with the Buddhadhamma. This morning as I meditated in the living room, the cat say by my side trying to get my attention and I realized that the baseless and abject fear and dread I felt midday not be dissimilar to the mind state of an animal; forever on guard and always fearful of who knows what. How fearful to realize that there are more beings in the animal realm than the human realm wandering without help or hope through samsara.

May I press on with courage and compassion.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.