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.
February 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
As the subject of my last blog post, I addressed Letting Go. But in order to truly embark on this path of trust, one must practice compassion.
Compassion; we’ve heard that expression used in various situations and used in abondance. But what does it mean in it’s essence?
A real compassionate individual is someone who’s in the constant and perpetual mode on compassion. So how do we define compassion? It’s basically regarding all living things with loving kindness… All of them of what he or she may have done. Indeed, not an easy task at hand; however, that is exactly why the practice of compassion will simultaneously be both the most difficult challenge your soul will ever encounter as well as the most rewarding.
In order to comprehend compassion, let’s brake it down into steps or its mechanism:
- Look at others with humility. Let’s face it, we’re only human beings. This means that we ARE imperfect and DO make mistakes. All of us are made up of characteristics which we could qualify as either good, neutral and bad. But essentially, we’re all just trying to understand life and go through its several hoops and hurdles. Some of us fair better than others at this. Some will encounter great difficulties and may partake in selfish or dangerous acts. Some are simply sick… Their minds suffer from some sort of disorder and these individuals won’t see the world as will a more balanced individual. Therefore, it’s important to continuously keep this notion in check: he/she is just a human being.
- This is your world, and you belong to it. You therefore have an impact on it and are capable of doing great things. This means that you’re connected with everyone else in the universe as we are all part of the same energy. See others being part of the same greater entity to which you belong to.
- Forgive. Knowing that others are simple human beings helps us to forgive. In forgiveness, the main dynamic is letting go of something which is completely useless to us: grudges. In fact, a grudge will only make you sick. Forgiving also means forgiving yourself, that’s right. You’ve also caused pain in this world and even appear cruel and hateful to others.
- The final step: living with compassion. Be aware that before actually living with compassion, you’ll be it’s student. Which means you’ll make mistakes as old patterns will appear especially at the beginning. Keep in mind that yanking your thoughts from that old familiar and comfortable spot will take practice. When ever hatred or anger arises, simply observe the emotion. Then think of the 2 previous steps. Deconstruct the emotion and simply observe it’s parts. Observe what happens in your body when you do feel these negative emotions. This cycle will dissolve them and with time the process will become easier. After several months of this, you’ll feel compassion as the central code of conduct of your life.
February 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
I admire people who live their lives with the conscious certainty of what they are doing is right for them. When they get sick, they recuperate quickly. When they’re employment disappears, they turn around with freelance work. When they loose something, they brush it off with a smile. In other words, they don’t get attached to things they can’t control.
Sadly, most people, specially the ones living in modern societies, have developed a form of addiction to the concepts of “must hold on to” and “must have”.
But sadly, many of us thread along life, holding on so dearly to stuff, people and feelings, ever so scared of being naked and perpetually feeding on poison. Why? Because that’s all we know and we can be so terrified of the unknown.
Consequently, we become under stress, continuously forcing our souls in a state of depravation. After all, own can feel satisfied if we always feel hunger?
Imagine a life long gruge for a certain person because he or she did something which hurt you in your past. In this particular case, we could say that this holding on to this negative feeling gives the “victim” (you) an illusion of power: “you’ve hurt me in the past and I’ll never forgive you for that… So there, take that!”. Meanwhile, the feeling will have eaten at the you… Slowly, but surely, the gruge will have fermented and will have managed to create all sorts of offshoots. If the “perpetrator” happened to be a blond girl for example, you could possibly have lived all your life with a constant distrust of women with the same appearance.
Another common example are cases where someone is living a relationship which is terribly toxic for them. They hold on again so dearly since that’s what they know. It’s part of their comfort zone. In the case of a marital bond, letting go would be to end the relationship in order for you and your former spouse to find suitable partners. Often, holding on will blind us. We get so tied up in that one thing we think we need to keep so badly that it prevents us from seeing the better option.
I very funny thing happened to me recently. I was in a small town in Thailand and had to catch a cross-Pacific flight in Bangkok. I had asked a friend of mine to drive me to the bus station in order for me to hope on a bus, get to Bangkok, take a cab and ultimately reach the airport. So I get to my friends house with a bit of spare time on my hands and proceeded to load his car with my luggage. When the time came to leave, my friend couldn’t find his keys! I waited in the car for 20 minutes as he frantically looked for them. As the clock kept ticking, I came to realize that this was just not going to happen. Instead of getting nervous, I remained calm and opted for a cab ride all the way to Bangkok airport. Now the really strange thing is that IF my friend would have found his keys, I would have missed my flight. The traffic that afternoon being really bad.
Ultimately, letting go is the neutral equivalent of one of the most positive words in the human language: TRUST. Trust yourself, trust the universe (or God if your wish), trust life. It liberates us from the anguish and the hate as well as creating the space within our soul in order to enjoy the moment and direct our energy towards the important aspects of our life. Trusting life allows us to bathe in the mystery of the universe and enjoy it’s infinite wisdom.
July 6, 2011 § 1 Comment
To stop thinking… What a bliss. What an extraordinary gift everyone can give to his or herself everyday, at any moment, may it be only for a short time.
Meditation has truly changed my life. It made me realize that we have so much more power than we believe.
The simple act of quieting the mind will bring powerful changes to your life, ones that you may not even had suspected as possible. You will start to perceive yourself and the outside world in a completely different way. Your universe becomes peaceful and it seems that nothing could bother you. At least, this is what to me after months of practice.
Like most of you, my life was driven by moments of fear and stress. Even if my native Thailand is a country with a long tradition of meditation, I still ran around and regularly fell victim to my own thoughts. That’s right, I was my own worst enemy; after all, we are the ones in charge.
I’ve met some people who strongly suspected that meditation numbs the mind; being a replacement to alcohol or a drug. That it makes you dull, weak and naive. But nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation releases the person who practices it regularly. It makes you shift your energy and focus from the time and energy wasters in your life to the constructive purposes. You become sharp as well as incredibly focused as all the energy you use to spread and squander on trivialities is now under your control. You stop running after all the red balls which come in your direction.
Meditation has also been extremely beneficial in my massage practice. When I give a Thai massage class, I always prepare my students by teaching them own to meditate. The reason for this is that massage is so much more than a simple physical act. An expert therapist can feel where are the trouble spots in a person’s body, and that, by simple touching.
I would love to hear about the experiences of others and discuss techniques with like-minded individuals.