Thursday, 16 December 2010

Compassion is the Mark

Source/copyright: Petr Brož/Wikimedia

The Master views the parts with compassion because she understands the whole. Her constant practice is humility. - A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell

Compassion is the mark of enlightenment. Or is it? This is one I have worked with in many ways, and still would not claim to understand much of it at all. Yet I have recently had some insights regarding compassion. We can engage with compassion in two main ways. One is, having some degree of awakening, we are able to perceive the dance of luminosity and emptiness, and thus are able to view each individually component with generosity and openness, with compassion because you see them for what they are, not what they threaten your ego-identity with.

The more practical application of compassion for most people is the high watermark. Compassion is very useful, because we can use it as the eternal compass, the measure of how open and receptive to emptiness we really are. Even in traditional psychology, we find it easier to be kind when we perceive our basic needs are met. I defer back to the perceived needs/wants of the ego - approval, survival and control.

So, in our daily practice, we can ask ourselves, "How compassionate am I feeling?" and "Can I allow this degree of compassion to increase?" In increasing it, we are feelingmore open, and this allows a greater sense of awakening to the dream-like nature of reality because we are no longer grasping it. We do this with a sense of humility, not with a sense to conquer it, for conquering is in itself an ego trip. This work takes a tremendous amount of personal integrity and honesty. If we find ourselves stuck, then we can explore the stuckness, identifying the reluctance. The reluctance is always this - the ego will have to give up some part of itself. That part will inevitably be a recipe of survival, control and approval tied up with a thought.

We increase our willingness, faith, trust and surrender into compassion. We allow it to support us, just so. It is like the sea rushing into the dry desert. And we die into it, into a state of emptiness and luminosity, resonating and recognising ourselves as this state.

If there is further stuckness, we then apply a more dualistic solution, going lower down the energetic scale to activate the triple liberators. We sit in duality, educating ourselves with the wisdom insights and exposing ego to the reality of pain which its thoughts create. Then we use the determination to create more openness. This is the more wrathful version of surrender.

Either way, compassion is the mark we can aspire to. When we go into it, we disappear and integrate completely into it, like a drop of milk in a glass of water.

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