Meditation for Thursday 17th November 2022

A favourite writer of mine, the Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das otherwise known as American poet Jeffrey Miller tells a story in one of his many books about a Brahmin in India who always boasted that he trusted in God alone and no matter what situation he found himself in God would save him.

During the monsoon season in India the Brahmin’s home became flooded with the flood waters gradually reaching to the roof of his house. A rescue helicopter with foreign aid workers hovered overhead offering to drop a line. ’Go away’, the Brahmin said, ’I can’t touch your line because you are Dalits, you are untouchable. Besides, I trust in God alone. He will save me.’ Finally, the Brahmin drowned. When the Brahmin reached heaven he asked one of the Hindu Gods, ‘Why didn’t you help me?’ What do you mean?’ the god replied. ‘I sent foreign aid workers in a helicopter but you were too proud. What else could I do?’

Lama Surya Das makes the point that the moral of this story is that it’s very hard to see divine assistance in persons; it is only visible in actions.

We meditate in order to help ourselves become better persons in order to build a better world for ourselves and others. Our meditation practice is not passive but rather active. It’s an engaged activity that is intended to motivate us towards assisting others.



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