A friend of mine once told me his story about how he had a knife in his hand and was raging with anger. He was going to kill his wife and her new found lover. Below is a short retelling of the story in third person.
My friend from the former Soviet Union did his first Goenka meditation retreat in 1999. The retreat was free and was very popular around the world. (dhamma.org). Before that, he was already into martial arts and Taoism and although they talked about meditation and controlling the mind, he did not really feel there was a solid technique to practice. After his first 10 day Goenka meditation course, he felt that he had found a good technique to control his mind. He did about three of these meditation courses since.
Around the same time, he had a girlfriend that he was living with and after about one year, she got pregnant. He was still doing some martial arts and meditation, but things get more busy as his family started to take form, which included marriage.
Later, he was invited to some type of camp on the seacoast by a friend to help out and to live comfortably. Some of his other friends were invited too and accepted the invitation, went with his wife and four year old son and would work for two days and rest for two days. Life was good.
During this period, he got sick but was still working during these bad health conditions. When he got home from work one day, late at night, his wife just got up and went out. He thought that was strange and decided to see where she was going. Next door and connected to the cabin they were staying at was another empty cabin.
This time, the cabin next door was not empty. One of his friends that he had himself invited to the camp was there with his wife. The window was not very high and he could see inside and see the forbidden passion that was taking place. The anger started to boil literally up and through his head, like no anger experienced before.
He was once in the soviet army, and there he learned that he should protect his property and stand up for himself. He had this very special knife that a friend had given him. It was handmade in the prisons. I’m not sure why prisoners were allowed to do this art, but they were esteemed to be the best knives one could get. I guess they had a lot of time to make quality work. The knife was very sharp and could cut paper. He has also shaved with it before. A similar knife is pictured in this post.
He went to his cabin and got the knife. He stood outside the cabin where they were and he was about 10 feet from the door. He was ready to kill them both. However, he decided that he should have a plan of action so that he could do the job right. His friend was much bigger than him and he knew that his state of mind could prevent him from carrying out the revenge effectively. He knew from Goenka and martial arts that he should clear his mind so it could work efficiently and effectively for the task to follow. So he decided to focus on his breathing for a minute or two before going inside to kill them.
After that short time, maybe only a mere ten breaths, his mind became clear and calm. He started to rationally think of a plan, but also thought about the consequences. He thought to himself, “Should I kill both? Who would take care of my son? I would be in jail and my son would grow up as an orphan with a father convicted of murder.” Murder has bad results and he was able to see that. Then he started to think more rationally, “Who am I to own this woman? Does she love him? Is it serious?”
He aborted the plan and decided that the three of them should talk within the next few days. It turned out that his wife and her new partner were really in love with each other and it was serious. After a short time, with things quite awkward in the home, he decided to go to India with some of his friends and do more meditation. He wanted to do more of the meditation that saved his life, his son’s life as well as two others.
After about 6 months of serious meditation at Goenka meditation centers he came back to check up on his son and the family situation. He wanted to check with the new boyfriend if he was really serious about his wife and if he would look after her and his kid in a committed way. He said he was committed to them both and the separation was complete.
He went back to India again and did more meditation at Goenka meditation centers. On one visit, his visa ran out and to renew his visa he needed to leave the country and come back again. He decided to go to Sri Lanka instead of Nepal and it was there that he met Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadawgyi who was staying at Na-Uyana Forest Monastery. He was inspired by this wonderful teacher and vowed to come back and become a monk.
He ordained as a samanera in 2008 and later a bhikkhu in 2010. He is still a monk today. His ex-wife never remarried but they stayed together for about ten years. His son is now 17 and studying in a college.