I am back. I am having trouble letting go of my anger. I didn’t get to go into the temple because security was increased today and I wasn’t let in because I had a radio and headphones. I understand that the man was just doing his job, but it is so frustrating how inconsistent security is in India. They let the men walk through without trouble, but cracked down on the women. Some days it is the opposite and some days they hardly even do their job at all. I am not sure what is going on I guess it is just a classic case of having multiple employees and only one is trying to do his or her job correctly, or bureaucracy not conveying to everyone what needs to be done. As I walked away, I saw the man just trying to do his job as myself. I used to work in a retail store that followed company policy, but down the street there was another store of our chain that did not follow policy. As a result, customers were often angry when they could abuse the coupons at the other store, but not ours. This reminded me of the one man actually following the security policy at the temple. I also saw how easily he could be my mother. If my mother reincarnated and couldn’t remember me, I am sure she would treat me the same way. It is becoming obvious that looking at sentient beings as strangers is foolish, and understandable why they would treat me without loving kindness. If they don’t believe in reincarnation or do believe but aren’t thinking about it at that moment, they view you as a stranger or an enemy. People treat each other according to the labels they assign to each other. This helps me be at peace with the desire to be loved. It is not my fault they don’t express affection towards me; in fact, it doesn’t make sense that they would.
I am guilty of forgetting reincarnation all the time too. Last night, when I was doing practice on behalf of grandpa Tom, I started meditating on Bodhichitta. For people who aren’t Buddhist let’s just say I was practicing to become more compassionate. Ironically, as I started meditating on this topic mosquitoes started buzzing all around my head and started biting me. It was as if they were sent to give me an object of meditation. I was able to see myself as a mosquito. I was able to see how I spend so much time everyday focused on my own comfort. I am like a dumb animal the majority of the day. I am not a stranger to anxiety or an agitated buzzing mind moving erratically. This mindset reminded me of the mosquitoes buzzing around me. I remembered that my mind was projecting onto the mosquitoes that that wasn’t their true nature, but I had a hard time letting go of the label. I saw how grandpa Tom could come back as a mosquito or my mother, or even my precious grandmother. On a bad day, any of us could reincarnate as a mosquito. I for the first time believed the mosquitoes were my mothers in previous lives. I began to feel more gentle. I didn’t want to cause them any harm, but I was having a lot of trouble letting go of not wanting to be bit. I realized that during my meditation that I wasn’t necessarily compassionate to my mother. If mom wanting to prick my finger to have some of my blood to drink, I would feel resistant. I think for grandma I would do anything she asked. So maybe I should work on equalizing all sentient beings with my grandmother.
I guess the key is to not view my grandma as how wonderful and compassionate, but view her during the time of death. Death is a difficult process and your reincarnation is based on the last thought you think at the time of death. Grandma was a saint, but at the last moment of death who knows what thought appeared in her mind. Maybe, it was chocolate cake and she reincarnated as a pig. Once she reincarnates as an animal she is limited by the animal form. She won’t be intelligent enough to practice compassion or equanimity with people who cause her harm. She would be stuck in a reactive animal mind constantly seeing everything either as source of food, or something that sees you as a source of food. Grandma could reincarnate as an animal and because of her mental limitations I wouldn’t recognize her.
Some animals are social creatures and desire love from a community. We typically make these animals pets(like dogs), but all beings feel this way. About a week ago, a mosquito landed on my hand. I was feeling generous so I allowed the mosquito to take as much blood as it wanted. It drank for a while and afterwards had a moment of contentment. The mosquito seemed like it didn’t know what to do with itself. It hung around for a while not going anywhere and eventually flew away. It was a beautiful moment and I felt like we bonded.