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Reflection: The test of cultivation is when things happen

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

Most of the time, we meditate, pray, or chant, in hopes to achieve peace within ourselves. This a a good habit to build, as you wouldn't know when you will need to use it. The test on your practice comes when something happens to you. It could be a co-worker who is abusing you, a friend who is mistreating you, or a misfortune that happened to you. For me, an unfortunate event happened. The story goes like this:

Two weeks ago, I was mugged by seven people. Well, I got beaten in the head for five minutes, and had my phone taken away after. I immediately crouched down and covered my head, knowing that I got cornered, and they were ready to fight. So, I did not even consider fighting back. I looked around, and saw that there were quite a number of passerby, and I was hoping somebody would do something, but not quite. No one stood up to help, even when they were bigger in size than the muggers. After five minutes of being hit in the head, they left with my phone.

Through this incident, what I realized, was that I was not angry, sad, or feeling pity for myself. I was not thinking of getting revenge or something like that. All I did, was to walk off after that, and file a police report, in case I have to go to the hospital to get checked and I need a case number to prove that this incident happened. Also, I got off lucky, in a way. At least they did not take out weapons. It could have gotten worse. They could have been turned into murderers or something. I realize that, the true test of cultivation comes when things like this happen. What will you do in such a case? Would you want the whole situation to get out of hand and it becomes bad for everybody? Or would you want nobody to get hurt out of it?

If I hadn't learn Buddhism, I might have done things differently. I might have gone toe-to-toe with them, and injured them, and also probably myself too. In that situation, neither party gets to go. What I experienced also, was that I had no emotional baggage to this situation.

I have to look after my own physical and mental health after this situation. The concussion could still stay for a few weeks, and I still have minor headaches, but sometimes, things like this do happen. What's more important is, we have to pick ourselves up and continue walking down the path, even though it could be tough for us. This incident taught me a very valuable lesson for my own progress in my practice.

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