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
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
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