Something to Think About
A Compassionate Heart
When Bankei held his ‘seclusion’ weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.
Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again Bankei disregarded the matter. This angered the other pupils, who drew up a petition asking for the dismissal of the thief, stating that otherwise they would all leave.
When Bankei had read the petition he called everyone before him. “You are wise brothers,” he told them. “You know what is right and what is not right. You may go somewhere else to study if you wish, but this poor brother does not even know right from wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.”
A torrent of tears cleansed the face of the brother who had stolen. All desire to steal had vanished.
Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
We should not unnecessarily sit in judgement on others or try to hurt people…. We can be helpful to them, we can feel sorry for them, and we can be a source of strength to them rather than hurt them or condemn them.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III.