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The Buddha at Work - "Brock Lesnar's Mom Loves Him Too - Compassion in the UFC"

I was really lucky to get to go to UFC 121 this past Saturday with my wife and her nephew, and thanks some friendly string-pulling, we had fourth row seats right next to the cage. My wife at one point shouted, "we have better seats than Jon Fitch!"

The headline fight (in case you didn't know already) was the heavyweight title bout--Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez. They are both tough-looking guys, as UFC heavyweights often are, but I have recently been particularly impressed with Brock's absolute giantness.

That's why it was shocking to see Cain beat him up, as my wife put it, "like he was Dora the Explorer."

Just prior to the beat-down, I noticed an older woman in the front row, on her feet, attention focused on the cage. My wife saw me noticing. "That's Brock's mom," she said. And suddenly it occurred to me that fearsome Brock Lesnar even had a mom, and that he was her baby just like Lily and Eli are our babies, and I tried to imagine what was going on in her heart as she watched her 265-lb tattooed terror of a son step into the cage with such a formidable opponent, and how she felt watching him so soundly defeated by Velasquez. And I immediately and automatically tried to have an inkling of what it might be like for him to look out of the cage and see her standing there.

The same being true for Cain, too.

I am reminded of H. H. The Dalai Lama:

"Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one's own. Now, when you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. Nor is this wish selective; it applies equally to all. As long as they are human beings experiencing pleasure and pain just as you do, there is no logical basis to discriminate between them or to alter your concern for them if they behave negatively."

I don't know if this picture is really Brock's mom, and I sure hope he doesn't mind me posting it. (Brock, if you want me to take it down, don't hesitate to ask. Really.) I wonder how often I forget that others are human beings, just like me, and want what I want.

Something to ponder as we start this work week.

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