Daily Insight:
Loving-kindness in Action
by Jack Kornfield

“My colleague Sylvia Boorstein tells of Phil, a Buddhist practitioner in New York who had worked with loving-kindness practice for years. One evening on a small side street in SoHo, a disheveled man with a scraggly beard and dirty blond hair accosted Phil, pointed a gun at him, and demanded his money. Phil was carrying more than six hundred dollars in his wallet and he handed it all over. The mugger shook his gun and demanded more.

Stalling for time, Phil gave him his credit cards and then the whole wallet. Looking dazed and high on some drug, the mugger said, “I’m gonna shoot you.”

Phil responded, “No, wait, here’s my watch—it’s an expensive one.”

Disoriented, the mugger took the watch, waved the gun, and said again, “I’m gonna shoot you.”

Somehow Phil managed to look at him with loving-kindness and said, “You don’t have to shoot me. You did good. Look, you got nearly seven hundred dollars; you got credit cards and an expensive watch. You don’t have to shoot me. You did really good.”

The mugger, confused, lowered the gun slowly. “I did good?” he asked.

“You did really good. Go and tell your friends, you did good.”

Dazed, the mugger wandered off, saying softly to himself, “I did good.”

Whenever our goodness is seen, it is a blessing.”

― Jack Kornfield,
Bringing Home the Dharma:
Awakening Right Where You Are

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