“We must all learn to listen to one another with understanding and compassion, to hear what is being felt by the other.” ( Thich Nhat Hanh )
The Buddha described “Four Sublime States of Mind” which would lead to rebirth in the highest of Buddhist heavens. These states are: equanimity (upeka), compassion (karuna), happiness in the well-being of others (mudita), and universal love (metta).
I find that compassionate people listen in a different way from the way many of us in North America were raised. Do you? As in the quote above, I feel that genuinely compassionate people “hear what is being felt” by another rather than just what is being said. That truly compassionate human beings don’t just talk about compassion, but rather live it.
Perhaps one of the finest living examples of a compassionate person, today, is His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his book THE WISDOM OF COMPASSION, the Dalai Lama credits his mother with planting the seed of compassion within him. He states his mother was warm and kind, while his father was short-tempered and sometimes hit him. His Holiness says: “I think mother’s milk is a symbol of compassion. It is not created by religion or by education but by nature. Without compassion we can’t survive. In my own case, my first lesson of the value of compassion happened during the first hour of my birth. Tremendous feeling, deep inside. I think I still feel those first traces of emotion. I am sure I will feel them till my death.”
The Dalai Lama goes on to describe how education (through his Buddhist teacher) added to his original biological seed of compassion. His Holiness believes that education helps to “sustain and nurture compassion..” The Dalai Lama states: “And after some time, my compassion becoming less biased. It is not dependent on other’s attitude. It comes not merely from biology but through education. Through training of mind, use intelligence. I understand the value of compassion. I realize the harmfulness of anger, hatred. Use education to train your mind. With practice, my own experience deepen. More unbiased compassion brings me inner peace. Result, better physical health.” (pg.102)
Compassion is caring about others without an agenda. Gary Zukav ( best-selling author, Harvard grad & former Green Beret) links creating authentic power to the harvesting of compassion. (SPIRITUAL PARTNERSHIP) Zukav describes compassion as being indistinguishable from fear masquerading as compassion, until one understands when one’s own “frightened parts of our personality” are active. Zukav states that it is only from “illuminating all the rooms of your mansion – discovering all of the frightened and loving parts of your personality” – that makes the differences clear as to what ‘appears’ to be compassion and what is ‘true’ compassion.
So what is ‘true’ compassion? Zukav distinguishes between “five-sensory individuals” and “multisensory individuals.” The ‘old’ world, where many of us were raised, was based on our five senses. Therefore, we likely thought acts of compassion were our warm and fuzzy feelings regarding puppies and kittens and our dropping of coins into the cup of a homeless person. Zukav, however, describes in SPIRITUAL PARTNERSHIP that for five-sensory individuals what seems as compassionate feelings and/or acts can actually come from frightened parts of our personalities. Zukav says that five-sensory humans confuse compassion with sentimentality. “They submerge themselves in cozy feelings that they think are loving experiences. For example, they melt when they see pictures of cuddly children and infants. They love images of couples running hand-in-hand through the surf and paintings of quaint and homey cottages in perfect evening light where all is as it should be.” However, Zukav says that these are NOT experiences of compassion but rather “attempts to escape the emotional challenges of the Earth school.” Zukav says that compassion is intimate and real.
When we look deeper, with angelic assistance and the use of our ‘new’ world multisensory selves, we are able to discern that the loving parts of our personalities are compassionate and that the frightened parts (from ego-mind) are not. We need awareness and discernment in order to choose, because if we do not make a conscious decision, a frightened part of our personality will make the choice for us and we will not experience compassion – even though our acts may appear compassionate to others. Zukav states: “Choosing to act with the intention of a loving part of your personality while you are feeling the painful sensations of a frightened part of your personality, observing its judgmental thoughts, and seeing its destructive intention creates authentic power.” These conscious choices are the acts of the spiritual warrior. If you wish to cultivate compassion, you work to create authentic power. “You attract others who are doing the same, and you also see the depth of the pain of others – the pain of powerlessness and the pain of the destructive consequences that attempting to avoid it has created – because you experience that pain yourself. This is the birth of compassion.” (pg.176)
As spiritual warriors we use our own experiences, including those that are painful, in order to master our own lives. To create our own destiny. We no longer look outside ourselves for fulfillment, purpose and joy. We no longer need to rescue, impress or convert others, because, the pursuit of external power has lost its attraction. Our compassion toward ourselves and others, by intentionally decreasing the fear in our lives, through practice, leads to inner peace and happiness. Since we are all ONE, compassion for ourselves is also compassion for others. Penny Peirce defines compassion as “a pervasive understanding that knows Love as the core of every being and situation. The virtue that gives rise to one’s desire to alleviate another’s suffering.”
As human beings our capacity for ‘true’ compassion grows as we grow and evolve. Some words from Emmanuel for those of us seeking the God within:
“The God that exists within human beings
is alive and well.
Those who espouse a religious path
that by-passes the value of human experience
fear that in humanness there is no God.
Their vision of God
does not encompass the warmth,
compassion and vitality
that you who seek the God within
are able to experience.
Give your love and compassion
to those who deny their humanness.
Theirs is a painful path. (BOOK OF EMMANUEL)
There is a wealth of assistance for those of us working on deepening our compassion. Many deities and angels and ascended masters are standing by waiting to be asked. There is no time but the present. I suggest that you call in Archangel Zadkiel, right now, to help you deepen your compassion, if you are so guided. Archangel Zadkiel, (whose name means “the righteousness of God”) is the archangel who prevented Abraham from sacrificing his son, Isaac, as an offering to God. Archangel Zadkiel has numerous specialties, one of which is helping us to feel mercy and compassion and to let go of unforgiveness and judgment. (Please remember that forgiveness does not sanction abuse of any kind – it is a letting-go of burdens we carry).
In his book written with Victor Chan, THE WISDOM OF COMPASSION, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, expresses his view that females (more sensitive to the pain of others, he says) should take a more active role regarding the promotion of human compassion. The Dalai Lama says: “But some male chauvinist disagree with my view. But I really feel like that … that females more compassionate. I think sometime the word ‘hero’ may not be nice. Hero no hesitation to kill people. Most of these heroes male, they really merciless.” (pg.218) When asked if the next Dalai Lama could be a woman, His Holiness replies, “Oh, yes, this is actually my view, if female Dalai Lama more useful, then why not?” The Dalai Lama feels that educating our hearts is one way we sow the seeds of compassion inside ourselves and within others. Compassionate thoughts, words and feelings can lead to compassionate actions and compassionate actions can save us and the planet.
Love & Light, Monica