S Aufrecht

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 13:04:22 -0400 (AST) From: Nathan To: Joel Aufrecht Subject: Re: Greetings

On Wed, 10 Mar 2004, Joel Aufrecht wrote:

My question is: (ask the buddhist) someone stole the bicycle light from my bicycle, which I discovered this morning. How do I stop feeling pissed off and violated?

There are certainly a number of ways of going about this.

You are a very intellegent person, so perhaps you want to take this as a great opportunity to see how your mind works and explore this feeling. Some questiosn you might ask yourself, is “if this feeling is a real thing, then it should have a color, a shape, a location, or other identifying marks, what are these? Is this feeling a single feeling or does it have parts, and if it has parts what are they?” Actually try to answer the question, and watch what your mind does.

Another method is comparison. -If one was following the news, one might have noted that in the fall of 2000 the election was stolen in the United States, losing a bike light is nothing to be upset about compared to having your rightful leader cheated out of office. -Or how about the massive theft of taxes from the American taxpayer, to finance a campaign of demoralizing, bombing, beating, raping, killing, and stealing from the Iraqui people. Losing a bike light is nothing compared to losing 79-Billion dollars, or your life, liberty, and/or pursiut of happiness.

Contemplation of impermanence. -At one point or another, you will lose everything that you have ever owned. This is true of all people. Your life is short, and precious. You will die, why waste your precious life away wishing harm on others who will also die in due course? -Nothing lasts forever. Even the greatest mountains are slowly ground into sand by the weather, leaving nothing in their place. That bike light too will break, buying a new one means that it’ll be longer before you have to replace your bike light again.

Compassion. -If someone was willing to steal a bike light things must be quite bad for them. Usually if someone could afford it they’d just buy one right? So if someone stole your bike light, perhaps they are already suffering more than you are.

If you were the type of person who was interested in faith, devotion, or perhaps just turning the tables on your habitual patterns you might recite the “four immeasurables”, with this loss in your mind. { May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness. May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering. May we never be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering. May we dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, aggression and prejudice. } You could even replace the “all beings” and “we” with “the person who stole my bike light”. And watch what happens after you say that about a dozen times slowly. (repeat as needed ;)

There are lots more I’m sure.

I was thinking of putting the recharger (without which the light won’t last long) outside near the bicycle, with a note and some money. I feel like this is going through the motions of not being possessive but really I’m still pissed.

I wouldn’t put out the recharger or money, I think that’s just rubbing it in. If you wanted to write a note, I would suggest politely explaining that you can not find your bike light, and ask if anyone can help you find it. Be sure not to accuse anyone of stealing, that just makes things harder to sort out. Keep it simple, don’t get dramatic. Be happy and thankful if someone returns it.

How’s that for an answer?



Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:17:36 +0100 From: Joel Aufrecht To: Nathan Subject: Re: Greetings

How’s that for an answer?

It exceeded all expectations. Would you do me the honor of posting it on my blog to share? I will endeavor to do as many steps as I can.