Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.
Practicing compassion on a daily basis is not easy and at times I wonder if it will ever be. I would like the practice of compassion to be infused within my being so it becomes like breathing -done without much thought, except when I inhale someone’s disgusting cigarette smoke.
But, every day experiences or situations where compassion is most needed, at times, is almost impossible to produce.
1. Dealing with emotional bats, otherwise known as emotional vampires-those lovely people who literally suck the marrow outta ya then fill the crevices with their overbearing problems. I prefer to use the term emotional leeches for literary visual impact. Bats are pretty cute while leeches, (those crafty blood suckers) are flat-out UGLY!
2. Viewing yet another rape crime on the media and plotting with friends on how to introduce legislation that allows male castration as a form of punishment or better yet castration with a dose of Frank’s hot sauce after the procedure. Yes, compassion is not available at this time, only revenge on the p***s kind…now, what if the perp is a woman…?
Yes, the examples are not nice but that’s the irony of compassion-it’s not meant to be utilized solely for the feely good things, the charities, the Hurricane survivors, the down on their luck person, etc.
For me, compassion does come easy when the situations or events fall under the feely good things. It flows endlessly, no questions pondered or second thoughts. But, place in front of me a complainer, an agitator, a supervisor who uses me to do his work while he sits in his office and watches movies on his NOOK, neglected animals at the hands of neglected humans, verbal bullies who hurt emotionally with words…this can go, but it stops here, and my compassion which normally resides in mi alma has conveniently moved to my foot.
Yes, the complainer may have painful things going on inside, the agitator may be acting from pain, the supervisor…well…the supervisor may feel his work is inferior and therefore engages in movie viewing on the job (while raking in a big salary) to pacify his deflated ego and now my compassion has moved from my foot to my stomach.
My meditation practice of Tibetan Buddhism centers on compassion, which is essential towards enlightenment. In order to put forth compassion unto others, I must first have compassion towards myself. There are a few things about me that do not permit my compassion. I can be a complainer, an agitator but not one who watches movies at work or neglects animals or bullies with words. If I disdain those traits in others, how do I deal with them within myself?
Right now, I read, I try to practice and hopefully in due time a teacher will find me and gently lead me on the correct path towards compassion.
**photos taken off the internet