Everyday life brings each of us many opportunities to share compassion…. But are you harnessing these opportunities and using them to help you live and give to the fullest?
Within the tradition of Buddism, much time is given to practices that cultivate compassion. So what exactly is compassion and why is it soo important?
Here are 3 amazing quotes from His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
- “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
- “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
- “We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion…. This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.”
Compassion is the act of serving your fellow beings from a place of kindness and love, while also wishing for their highest good.
Practising compassion has many benefits:
1.With every compassionate act you immediately get to create a positive change in the world around you.
2. By acting compassionately you will be happier. You will find that you are better able to see the good in others and as you learn to be kinder to others you will also learn to be kinder to yourself.
3. Other people love to be the recipients of true compassionate behaviour, therefore you will have way more positive interactions and better relationships with others.
4. Acting compassionately is a simple hack to bring all your worldly activities into a place that feels ethical and meaningful to you
5. When we are compassionate to others we become more compassionate to ourselves, and when we are compassionate to ourselves we become more compassionate to others.
Within the world of self-development and yoga, it can be easy to get caught up in learning more complex yoga poses, deepening ones ability to meditate, and/or detaching from the exterior world of the senses. Ultimately all of these activities are pointless without compassion! If a person is not guided by an open and compassionate heart it doesn’t matter how bendy they are, or how intense their meditations are.
True spirituality always creates more connection, more unity with all beings and more compassion for everyone and everything.
Compassion is true power as it is guided by love.
All other forms of power are transient and dependant upon conditions such as wealth, physical beauty, or even fear. Using these avenues it may be possible to get people to do what you want, (and thus create a temporary feeling of safety for yourself) but as soon as the money goes, or the looks fade or people finally become so tired of being frightened that they have nothing to lose — then you will immediately lose them and the power that they gave you.
Only the power of Love is infinite.
When working with love and compassion you bring your thoughts and actions in line with the greater good of the other, for no other reason then for the joy you receive in giving it. This way you become free from expectations and disappointments and the other can truly receive what is best for them.
When you learn to give selflessly, other people are ironically very likely to want to give you support, love and compassion when you need it. Thus a virtuous cycle is created, each one supporting the other from a place of deep compassion, humbleness and gratitude. In this cycle, each persons ego is diminished while each heart grows ever larger.
There are many methods you can work with to generate the ability to become more compassionate.
Here is a compassion- generating mantra practice you can try right now:
Om Namo Amitabhaya
Buddhaya Dharmaya Sanghaya
Om Namo, Om Namo, Om Namo Amitabhaya
Translation: Salutations to Amitabha the Buddha of Compassion To The Buddha (and to the Buddha-nature within each of us) To the Dharma (one's spiritual path) To the Sangha (one's spiritual community)
You may wish to chant this mantra 12 times for a ‘quickie’ practice or 108 times for a longer practice.
You can also try to sing along with the live mantra in the video below:
I very much hope you enjoy,
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