Friday, January 28, 2005

Compassion

In times when my mind runs off, I often remember the words of the Dalai Lama in response to the question of how he feels about the Chinese who invaded his country thus taking away his ancestral home and seat of spiritual government. His response was

They have already taken my country, I will not let them take my mind.

Some of us feel like that right now.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama writes,

"In my own experience, the period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one's life. If you go along in an easy way, with everything okay, you feel everything is just fine. Then one day, when you encounter problems, you feel depressed and hopeless. Through a difficult period, you can learn, you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problem. Who gives you this chance? Your enemy."

This is what His Holiness means when he refers to the Chinese as "my friends, the enemy."

The heart of compassion is purified in the fire of suffering.

"This does not mean that you obey or bow down to your enemy. In fact, sometimes, according to the enemy's attitude, you may have to react strongly. But deep down, calmness and compassion must not be lost. This is possible If you practice this, if you test it in your own experience, you can feel it yourself.

"The development of love and compassion is basic and … compassion is the essence of religion…. What is needed is compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are … brothers and sisters, and respecting their rights and … dignity…

To bring about … change is difficult,but it is absolutely worthwhile to try…. what is important is that we try our best. Whether we succeed or not is a different question. Even if we could not achieve what we seek within this life, it is all right; at least we have made the attempt to form a better ... society on the basis of love – true love – and less selfishness."

from "Religious Values and Human Society,"

"My spiritual friends, whether it is we or others who are suffering, the enlightened response is compassion: love, sympathy, and the intention to ease the ache. To be on a spiritual path means to be awake both to suffering and to the possibility of the end of suffering, asking of us to embrace both – to include everything in the circle of our care. We are deeply interconnected with one another.

When we cultivate wise minds and open hearts, we will know what to do with our hands."

Rev. Kim K. Crawford Harvie

Without compassion, we are less than nothing.

We have taken the oneness

and pseudo severed ourselves from it.

Without compassion, the Heart of Wisdom

Becomes a deep Well of Uncaring.

Without compassion, our love

is a billboard slogan or

a relief effort with no soul.

It becomes too easy to be hard.

And even harder to be soft.

And after a while,

You get to where,

You just don't care.

3 Comments:

Blogger OZ said...

if you truly care, you will find something creative and meaningful to do.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not all of us have the time or the creative impulse.

10:29 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

I think we can all contribute. Don't sell yourself short.

11:53 AM  

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