Facing the bad guy in the mirror

Whenever I’m aware of an event like the shooting in Newtown or a debate like the argument about guns that has ensued I have to remind myself of Hew Len’s teaching that whatever you see in someone else you can heal in yourself. It took me a while to realize that his view really just put the idea of everything you see being a mirror a different way. I discussed Hew Len in an earlier post so I don’t want to repeat everything but in short he uses Mornah’s prayer (several versions are in that post) all day long about anything or anyone that irritates him, anything about which he has a strong opinion, anything that ails someone else, etc. He calls it “cleaning”.

He used it to great effect on a ward for the criminally insane that had deteriorated into bad condition. His work there involved sitting in an office with the files of the inmates and healing in himself whatever he saw in each file. The whole place changed for the better. In a web of oneness this shouldn’t be a big surprise because any healing works for the whole web, just as any act of terror impacts the whole web. The healing tends to go in ripples with the biggest affects on those in the vicinity so his healing regarding the issues in all those files had the most noticeable impact on those who were directly involved but I believe all that healing helped us all.

I know all of this on some level and yet when a situation like Sandy Hook arises I struggle to focus and remind myself that the shooter and I are one. For a while I spin in horror and refer to him as separate from me. I talk about the people who think guns are great as if they are “other”. I have to pull myself in hand to remember that we are one and that whatever I see “out there” reflects something in me – and what’s in me I can heal.

I like Mornah’s prayer, particularly the version I learned first: Divine Creator, Mother, Father, Son as one, I, (say your name), wish to do ho’o pono pono between myself and ___ (in this case, for instance, the part of me that suffers mental illness or the part of me that wants to shoot people). Cleanse, sever, cut, release and transmute to the path of pure light. Ha Mahiki. We are set free and it is done. (The last two phrases said loudly and forcefully). See previous post for other versions.

But I’ve been immersed for a long time with the lovingkindness chant (May I be filled with lovingkindness,, may I be well, may I be peaceful and at ease, may I be happy), so instead of the prayer I often just start repeating the chant either for myself or for the “other” I am seeing. Even though it doesn’t have the specific words for cleaning a particular issue, I find that it takes me to a place of equanimity and opens my heart so that the sense of duality and otherness is dissolved into feeling the oneness.

It takes a lot of mindfulness to do what Hew Len does and I have to admit I fall very short when it comes to staying in the moment but when I remember to watch for every sense I have of someone else doing something wrong or having some kind of problem, etc. and to shift my focus to heartfulness and healing I feel like something changes not only for me but for them. Sometimes it shows up in a softer relationship or the smoothing over of a problem. Sometimes it’s just that my heart feels greater peace.

It’s not easy to look in the mirror and see the face of those I think of as bad or criminal or wrong or other and my observation is that in this world of duality most people share that difficulty. But when I can step aside from my sense of separateness and acknowledge the great web in which we are all one, part of the same great consciousness that is All That Is, I find peace about whatever is happening. I wonder what the state of the web would be if millions of people started healing in themselves whatever they see in the world that reflects “bad” or “wrong” back to them.

This post is for Jennie Matlock’s AlphabeThursday, which is “F” this week.

13 thoughts on “Facing the bad guy in the mirror

  1. Powerful post, Leigh. We do the lovingkindness meditation at my church. Recently, when we got to “may my enemies be happy and well,” I thought about Adam Lanza. It is hard to love thy enemy, but as Gandhi said, “I have no enemies.”
    Thank you for keeping this spirit of lovingkindness alive and well in the face of this tragedy.

  2. Great post Leigh, I did not watch any news on the tragedy and did not go into very much thought on it. I guess denial of ugliness was was I was doing but your post and this Ho O pono pono clearing is what would be most beneficial to the Oneness. As always thank you for the insightful sharing.

    Have a glorious New Year!


    • Well, I think sometimes just not giving attention to these things helps. For some reason I got caught up in this one and then I had to consider what to do with the feelings… Thanks so much.

  3. Pingback: Bright Promise « bluebutterfliesandme

  4. Oh.


    This was fantastically powerful.

    These observations have really led me into a deep thought process.

    I will be pondering your words today.

    This was really intense.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    Wishing you Peace and Joy for 2013.

    Thank you again.


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