Blind Anger to the Eyes of the Heart
By Malele Serrano
Guilt and resentment are states of mind that destroy love and create suffering. They seem to be caused by what happened but they are not. They are caused by how you relate to what happened.
In 2002 I lost my only brother in a traffic accident. In 2003 I lost my father. This loss was not a physical one because he did not die in the flesh but in my heart. At that time, not only I was away from the organization, but my practice was inconsistent. My husband at the time encouraged this separation from my father, because he also had cut ties with his own mother.
I started to practice with a new and fresh determination in May 2006. I moved to South Carolina and reconnected with the organization and my dear SGI friends. For the first time in 21 years of practice, I was practicing to manifest Buddhahood within — my life changed completely because of this sincere determination. This is one of the things that happened to me since then.
In October 2006 I went to Venezuela
to be with my mother for her cataract operation. As it turned out, I needed
an operation more than she did. Not only did I find a doctor the very same
day of my mom’s operation, but this doctor was an old friend of mine and
an ex-student of my father. He operated on me, free of charge, a week after
my mom's procedure. The irony is that my father is an ophthalmologist,
one of the best in the city, but I could not contact him for family reasons
that are not worthwhile telling here. I had stopped talking to my dad for
a period of four years. I knew I was full of resentment, and as a Buddhist,
I knew I had to put an end to this, but I simply could not.
The morning of the pain, before I met this one doctor, instinctively I went to the Gohonzon and chanted to clean myself from resentment. Any kind of resentment. I understood with my heart that when you have resentment, a major part of you closes down. You become bitter and less able to express your love. You lose your aliveness and your joy for life. You put up walls of protection and you make your life more difficult. Letting go of resentment was not for the benefit of other persons. Letting go of resentment was for me.
My medical diagnosis was so troublesome
that my mom (who was one of the major external causes for me breaking up
with my father) encouraged me to call him immediately. Her fear and love
for my well-being proved to be stronger than her hate and resentment towards
Half an hour later I was with my father, the pain was gone and there was no trace of uveitis! Of course, there was a heated discussion between the doctor and my father, but after a long and detailed conversation, he admitted the diagnosis and treated me accordingly… JUST IN CASE, because it was no trace of the infection! My eye was clear and very healthy. Since then, my father and I have been close — I talk to him frequently and we have met several more times. He even came to Miami to spend some days with me.
The mirror of my Buddhist practice showed me that my resentment was the justification of the victimhood in me. If there was no one to defend me from his betrayal, resentment would be my own defense… With my resentment, I forcefully blamed him so I did not have to look at myself.
Today I see my father the way he is. Releasing my resentment towards him did not free him from his wrongdoings, but freed me. I understood without judging him that he has a very limited awareness and acts totally consistent with his limited skills and ability. I also know that we all have similar limitations one way or another and if he could do better I am sure he would have.
I was able to see him with the eyes of the Buddha and not with my limited vision. It is not a matter of forgiving him, because that would put me in a superior position but seeing him and me with love, kindness, and compassion. By letting go of my resentment I was able to go on with my life and experience deeper and more meaningful levels of love.
Perhaps you may think that the conspicuous
benefit of not becoming blind was the best benefit of all. However, opening
the eyes of my heart is what I treasure the most. Without my practice,
I would not have been able to accomplish this to the level I have. It is
difficult to express my transformation and deep benefit with words, but
trust me — Nam Myoho Renge Kyo works and the journey it takes you is worthwhile
living. From the bottom of my heart, I encourage all of you to try to experience
this kind of awareness with your own life.