I have received yet another solid dose of injustice in my workplace a few days ago. I saw it coming and I was dreading those sleepless nights, bad mood, frustration and anger I have experienced so many times before.
And yet, it is very different this time. What I feel the most in the nasty situation I am in is gratitude for the teachings of the Buddha, for the words of the Buddhist masters and for my own simple and ordinary meditation practice.
Yes, I do occasionally and briefly experience pain, anger and resentment, but it is only when I think about the discriminatory treatment I have received. When I notice the unskillful thoughts arising, recognise them as just thoughts and let them fade away I seem to be doing fine. What I call unskillful thoughts are any thoughts I use to refer to myself as a victim or to degrade the people who wronged me.
It is obvious to me that each thought can be either just a thought or a hostile universe in which I assume the role of a tormented victim. The choice is always mine. What offers me that choice is wakefulness / awareness / vigilance / mindfulness, in other words – the quality of not being asleep, of not being a zombie, of not being a biological robot, of not being dead. It is something I practice during meditation by performing the simple act of focusing my attention on the breath.
The power of meditation for me is not in any spectacular experiences or achievements, rather in repeating the same simple and mundane activity of noticing the breath and the body.
Over and over again.
Gently but persistently.
Joyfully but meticulously.
Without any regard to anything else in the world.