Pir Vilayat Khan, a Sufi, urges us to consider pain in this way:
"Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of pain that was entrusted to you. Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart, each one of us is part of her heart, and therefore endowed with a certain measure of cosmic pain. You are sharing in the totality of that pain. You are called upon to meet it in joy instead of self pity.
We must remember, what we are forgiving is not the act-not the violence. We are forgiving the actors, the people who could not manage to honor and cherish their own lives in a loving and gentle way. We are forgiving their suffering, their confusion, their desperation, their ignorance, and their humanity. Through forgiveness we are all set free to go our own ways and follow our tradition, dharma and spiritual destiny".
Maha Ghosananda, a respected Cambodian monk went into the refugee camps where thousands of Cambodians had fled the terrible holocaust conducted by Pol Pot. Every family had lost children, spouses, and parents to the ravages of genocide, and their homes and temples had been destroyed. Maha Ghosanada announced to the refugees that there would be a Buddhist ceremony the next day, and all who wished to come would be welcome.
Since Buddhism had been desecrated by Pol Pot, people were curious if anyone would go. The next day, over ten thousand refugees converged at the meeting place to share in the ceremony. It was an enormous gathering. Maha Gosananda sat for some time in silence on a platform in front of the crowd. Then he began chanting the invocations that begin the Buddhist ceremony, and people started weeping. They had been through so much sorrow, so much difficulty, that just to hear the sound of those familiar words again was precious.
Some wondered what Maha Ghosanada would say. What could one possibly say to this group of people? What he did next, in the company of thousands of refugees, was begin to repeat the verse from the Dhammapada, a sacred Buddist scripture:
Hatred never ceases by hatred;
But love alone is healed.
This is an ancient and eternal law.
Over and over again Maha Ghosananda chanted this verse. These were people who has as much cause to hate as anyone on earth. Yet as he sat there, repeating this verse over and over, one by one, thousands of voices joined together in unison: "Hatred never ceases by hatred: but by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal law." Out of the mouths of people who had been wounded, oppressed, made homeless, aggrieved, and crushed by the pain of war, came a prayer proclaiming the ancient truth about love, a truth that was greater than all the sorrows they had seen and felt. Legacy of the Heart,Wayne Muller