Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
As you think about 'compassion' in your life, what images come to mind? Compassion is defined as, "A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." How have your sufferings encouraged you to help others? Can you truly touch the heart of your sorrow and remain present to its message? Who embodies compassion in your life? Are you sure to include yourself in your circle of compassion?
Exploring compassion through the lens of the Jivamukti Community, one is asked to identify the strong emotions of fear, anger, hatred, resentment- these emotions keep us hostage from experiencing our true nature which is love. They offer mantra or the repetition of mantra to shield us from the visceral instinct to react from our deep hurts. The archaic belief of "an eye for an eye" dissolves amidst this updated way of being.
No matter our backgrounds we all have a ritual of mantra that we hold fast to in times of conflict or despair. I think of a friends grandmother who faithfully recites the rosary, another friend who sings Jewish prayers, a friend who chants the Vedic scriptures, a friend who embraces the Lord's Prayer, and many more beautiful ways of connecting.
Compassion asks that we connect rather than disconnect. When we are able to see our sufferings as well as others as universal, can we simply bear witness to the disappointment and rather than reacting, can we find our ritual of connection?
One of my favorite mantras is, Om Mani Padme Hum- (Om and Hum have no conceptual meaning, but Mani means jewel and Padme means lotus). This Buddhist mantra encourages us to unite the qualities of wisdom (the lotus) and compassion (the jewel). As we bring this mantra into our lives, it has been suggested that the lotus grows in the murkiest of waters but emerges with such beauty. How are you like the lotus? What murky waters have you been thriving in? And as you emerge from these waters, can you still view your life with the brilliant vision of compassion? Compassion is a jewel that never loses it's luster.
May you be encouraged to reconnect to the rituals in your life that bring you closer to your divine essence of love. In these rituals may you grow your container of compassion to include Self and the world. May we all be transformed with the wisdom and jewel of compassion!
May You Sweetly Seek:)