Compassion: the ultimate force

March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

My last blog entry concentrated on the mechanics of compassion: sort of like a step by step guide to enter the process and get things started.

The reason for this follow-up is to explain the real power of compassion, its strengths and its misconception.

Let’s begin with the latter. Compassion in popular culture is widely misunderstood. It is often presented as an instrument of weakness associated with a cartoon like depiction of all things essential to the “tree hugging hippy” movement.

Ok, let me say this clearly. Although compassion is a simple process, it is NOT an easy one. It’s the most difficult thing for a human-being to do.

Compassion is a solvent for two of the largest energy wasters for humankind: anger and guilt. This is its greatest strength. It allows us to look at another person and ourself with detachment and without getting caught in the all too familiar downward spiral of hatred associated with anger and guilt. Furthermore, compassion enables you to liberate yourself from the results of ill practices of others and to not get caught up in their misery.

Let me illustrate this with a short and simple example:

Think of the last time you’ve done something which would be considered outright hurtful. Some people felt nothing, in which case they would probably not be reading these words. Others felt guilty afterwards, and maybe so for a long time. This is the case for a large portion of readers. Although with time we tend to “forget” a specific guilt, they don’t really go away. Ever so often they will reappear and give us that oh so annoying pinch in the stomach combine with a mental note such as “dam, I wish I hadn’t done that”. Can you feel it? Do you see the energy being drained away, as if it was stolen? The awkward truth in this is that we do it to ourselves. Yes, someone else maybe responsible for an unfortunate event in your life but ultimately, YOU decide weither or not it deserves any energy and how much so.

In the practice of compassion, we adress these self damaging behaviours by bringing them in our awareness, an thus makes it easier to avoid doing hurtful things in the future since we become more aware.

Imagine all the energy not spent on hatred, anger, guilt and bad habits but instead spent on constructive things in your life such as work, family, relationships and education. This is why compassion is ultimately a force, one when combined with the regular practice of meditation, will open a path of both peace and immense productivity in your life.

Rose

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