"The result of facing your own suffering and working with it is that you become able to accept the suffering of others."
When you live in appreciation of life and reverence for life, you become alive, vibrant in gratitude and joy then you move toward love and compassion. For the Divine is the source of compassion.
When you develop compassion, you put real love into practice. Seeing the pain and suffering of others, your heart goes out with compassion to help them. You are not thinking of what you can get out of the situation or even how it will impact you. Your concern is what is needed to help or heal and how you can make that happen.
Compassion involves empathy, an ability to relate to the pain of others, to feel it, to know it and to care that someone is experiencing it. Oftentimes, people who have been through a great deal of suffering themselves are the ones who develop this kind of empathy, an ability to really understand the suffering of others and truly care.
The result of facing your own suffering and working with it is that you become able to accept the suffering of others, understand their pain and care. This is compassion.
Compassion, as a practice, requires you to face your own pain and the pain and suffering that exists in this world without looking away. It requires you to be able to be with suffering, to see it and those who suffer with great love, great care.
Compassion is an attitude, a feeling, a reflection of all embracing, unconditional love. It holds nothing back and doesn’t run. The practice of compassion must start with yourself, with facing your own pain and having great kindness for the part of yourself that has suffered. Then you can take that same care and share your heart with all beings in the loving kindness of compassion.
Begin by treating others as you would be treated, with kindness. Do not covet what they have. Make efforts to care for their needs in a kind and compassionate way. This does not mean that you need to bow to the wishes of every person who wants something from you. This is not compassion.
Compassion is to be kind and to care about the needs of every living being. When in an attitude of compassion, all that you do is for the welfare of living beings. It is a kindness that you express in your daily life. If you live in this kindness you will find that there is a significant effect on other people and on yourself.
When you learn to see everything as the manifestation of God and treat all people and all life with utmost respect, the world around you becomes the very expression of divinity. As you develop your awareness with the practice of Yama and Niyama, you begin to acquire positive qualities and characteristics within yourself, and the compassionate nature of the infinite
Here is a book on Compassion that you might also like.
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As we begin this year, we face some significant issues in the world and in the United States.
There is a polarization of people, dire predictions about the soon to come impact of global warming, about immigration, the migration of people from areas in the world impacted by violence and/or global warming, and a variety of other very significant issues.
There are those who want to bring change and compassionately try to ease the situation and those who want to keep going with fossil fuels usage and profit based decisions that have worked for them in the past.
In this backdrop of rising global struggles and polarities, how do we relate as spiritual beings? How can we help without getting caught up in hatred and ill will? What is each of our roles in life at this time in the world? The below intuitive new years message from my spiritual guide gives insight into the situation this year.
"Nothing is won in human life without struggle. The babe when first born struggles to breathe in order to survive, the child struggles to learn, to grow, to understand the world around them. Struggle is a part and parcel of human life.
Today there are struggles between the forces that bring the world towards peace and harmony, support the welfare of all human beings, and bring humanity in alignment with the planet on which we live, and the forces dominated by the personal greed of individuals and their desires for power and prestige. These forces would move the planet in a different direction. They would place money and personal gain above the welfare of living beings; above the welfare of the planet.
These two forces are in battle at this time. This is a natural struggle that comes when there is movement in the human society. Today there is movement towards the light, towards the unification of society, towards the building of one unified planet.
"Today the light of a new dawn grows brighter. It is the light of a new beginning in the world, one in which there is harmony between human beings and all the other living beings of the world. This light of human awareness and consciousness arises out of the ashes of ignorance, greed, and self-centeredness that have come to dominate many spheres of human life.
Today's world is changing. It is not a time when you can sit on the sidelines and enjoy the bliss of ignorance and complacency. It is a time when the struggle for the very existence on this planet will demand your attention. It is a time to stand up for dharma. A time to stand for the rights of human beings and all living beings on this planet - to live with harmony for the collective good of all.
There is no time now to ignore this struggle. The time for complacency has come to an end. This is a struggle that will require each and every person to apply themselves in their own way, to their own capacity, to bring the light of a new dawn into this world.
That light rises. It grows bright. It is a new beginning which cannot be stopped, cannot be changed. The forces for change and the development of light in this world grow stronger. There is no diminishing of this movement. But as it grows, struggle comes - the struggle of the light to emerge from the darkness. The struggle to bring conscious awareness to living beings - that they might live in harmony with each other and with the natural world.
This world is like a ship - a contained ecosystem. All who live aboard this spaceship earth are together in their destiny. The welfare of one cannot be separated from the welfare of another. This is an integrated system. The journey is one that all who live here make together. It cannot be made alone. It cannot be made single handedly.
And when some try to exploit others, the results and the consequences of that will become more evident much faster than in the past. It is not that there are darker forces in the world today than have existed previously, but it is that there is a brighter light in the world today and that light illumines the darkness. Where there is a bright light, darker shadows are cast.
And so there is in the world today, a struggle. A struggle of those forces which would cling to their personal welfare and greed, and those forces which recognize that this planet is an integrated whole and that everyone--all creatures who live on it and the planet itself—are one life, one essence, one interwoven whole. From this whole, comes the welfare of all.
It is the duty of each and every one to work for that welfare of all beings in whatever capacity, in whatever manner you have to express this dharma.
For movement towards unity and welfare of all beings is movement towards the Divinity which is the core and essence of life. That divine love, divine compassion, divine essence is at the core of all existence.
When human life flows in harmony with the intention of the Divine that there should be kindness and care for all beings; when love for the Supreme and love for all beings dominates the human psyche, then there is a harmony here on earth with humans, with animals, with plants, with the rocks, with the sea. This harmony seeks to be acknowledged, seeks to be expressed.
As the light of a new dawn grows on this planet, this harmony arises as the central focus of human life. Without it, human beings cannot survive. And the challenges that face humanity today are the result of a lack of this harmony.
But now, as the light of a new dawn grows brighter, the potential for this harmony becomes greater and greater. It arises and it will not be stopped. But it brings with it the challenges that we face today; the struggle to bring light into the world and to dissolve ignorance. It brings the struggle to all human beings to learn to work together and to recognize that our welfare is interwoven and interconnected with each other, with the animals, with the plants, with the earth, with the oceans. Harm to one brings harm to all.
So it is time to rise up. It is time to meet the new dawn and to be a force of light and love in this world; to incorporate it in yourself and stand for dharma, stand for truth, stand for light, stand for the unity of life and the wholeness of being. Make your voice heard in the world. Make your intentions firm and clear. Do not be daunted. Do not be discouraged.
The force of light, the force of grace and love is the strongest force, and it is rising in the world today. The welfare of all living beings today requires that all join together in a universal humanity, in a universal life, and stand for truth, stand for love, stand for the welfare of all beings.
Darkness cannot hide this light. It will shine brighter and brighter and the deeper the struggle the greater the light will shine. So do not be afraid of struggle. Do not be afraid to let your light shine in the world. Do not be daunted by any resistances you feel. Go forward. Be bright. Shine bright."
" Let the light of truth, love, and Divine grace shine through you. Be courageous. It is time to stand in your light and let it shine. The world needs you now."
Maetreyii Ma: a teacher of yogic wisdom & practices