July 7, 2017
I want to tell you of a true story. It comes from AJAHN BRAHM.
The new prisoner was afraid and very depressed. The stone walls of his cell soaked up all the warmth; the hard iron bars sneered at all compassion; the jarring collision of steel, as his cell door closed, locked hope beyond reach. His heart sank as low as his sentence stretched long. On the wall, by the head of his cot, he saw scratched in the stone the following words: This too will pass.
These words pulled him through, as they must have supported the prisoner before him. No matter how hard it got, he would look at the inscription and remember, “This too will pass.” On the day he was released, he knew the truth of those words. His time was completed; jail too had passed.
As he regained his life, he often thought about that message; writing it on bits of paper to leave by his bedside, the car, and at work. Even when times were bad, he never got depressed. He simply remembered, “This too will pass,” and struggled on through. The bad times never seemed to last all that long. Then when good times came he enjoyed them, but never too carelessly. Again he remembered, “This too will pass,” and so carried on working at his life, taking nothing for granted. The good times always seemed to last uncommonly long.
Even when he got cancer, “This too will pass,” gave him hope. Hope gave him strength and the positive altitude that beat the disease. One day the specialist confirmed that, “the cancer had passed.”
At the end of his days, on his death bed, he whispered to his loved ones, “This too will pass, and settled easily into his passing. His words were his last gift of love to his family and friends. They learned from him that, “grief too will pass.”
Depression is a prison that many of us pass through. “This too will pass” helps up pull through. It also avoids one of the great causes of depression, which is taking the happy times too much for granted. -AJAHN BRAHM
I wrote this because this hit directly home. When the warden lied to me after trying and achieving goodness with no disciplinaries, I got depressed. I thought, “Well if your not going to put me through the program, and your not going to let me go to work, then why are you keeping me here, intentionally punishing me?” So I lashed out, out of hurt caught me two disciplinaries to get sent to the hole. Because I actually began plotting on stabbing me an officer or three. I knew though that would be terribly wrong on many levels. So I had to get away. Now with (17) days left out of (62) in solitary confinement, I realized early in this solitude, how much the warden blessed me. With what he done and this teaching, “This too will pass,” I know, “This too will pass.” Yet, it released me from my burdens and freed my mind. I don’t have to stress myself out on trying to be good. I went (5) months over what he wanted being good. So I know I can be god now. I don’t have to try. I don’t care if he lets me out, for any of the two reasons, because now it will no longer effect my meditation and learning of Enlightenment. True enlightenment means, “no anger,” of anything. I’m not there yet, but I am learning. This solitude has been so great. I’ve got in touch with my God and my inner Buddha. There are many good teachers here from our Sangha. The teaching of Love and compassion must be spread everywhere.
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