The Buddha was right.
Yesterday my wife and I went to a dental clinic for a routine checkup and cleaning. While I was sitting in the lobby, I overheard one older woman who, upon checkout was told that she had a payment, exclaim about how the treatment was supposed to be covered; she’d spoken with her insurance company the day before and then had learned that the treatment would be covered in full. And now she was distraught.
Later on, a younger woman with stooped shoulders spoke in a defensive and agitated way with someone at reception. She too thought that her treatment that day was to be covered and she too was told that it wouldn’t be. Angry, she left without being seen.
While I was waiting for my teeth to be cleaned, I could make out (perhaps) someone in billing or (perhaps) a dental hygienist discuss the costs of taking out what sounded like quite a few cavities. In particular, removing one or two in the front could be, it was implied, rather risky as there is a nerve as well as a blood vessel running through both teeth. What was the patient thinking just then? What was he feeling?
Do you not only see the point but also feel the anguish?
One reason to meditate deeply is to feel, with greater sensitivity, the subtle and overt forms of anguish experienced by those around you.
Then there were the professionals. The first, cheery and people pleasing and kind also, had a nervous disposition while the dental hygienist, who was perhaps from Taiwan or China, was quite talkative. I could tell that he tended toward ambient anxiety and that he liked it when someone could not just make out his broken English but also take him–and what he had to say–seriously. He meant well even if he was itchy in his own skin.
When I checked out, I noticed that some of those working in reception were frazzled, out of breath.
And all this in just two hours… What kind of transformation will be necessary in order for all beings to find, and be, Home Anywhere and Everywhere? May all beings be free from suffering! May all beings be peace!