Week Seven: Virtue of Compassion

growing

Having consciously focused on the Virtue of Unity, you begin to notice the activation of your heart as you generate a sense of care for others. You notice your mind and your heart are both more sensitive to receiving information about other systems and their physical, mental, and emotional state of being. The more deeply you understand a feeling or experience within yourself, the more clearly you can see the same experience in others. You naturally begin to expand your frame of reality and experience the impression of unity in the form of co-existence. Living in harmony and peace with other forms of existence (humankind, nations, religions, other species, the environment, and the cosmos) develops a sense of responsibility and courage (valor) to maintain a safe environment of growth for all. With this duty also comes the wisdom of sympathetic consciousness for others: the Virtue of Compassion.

The English word compassion comes from Old French derived from the ecclesiastical Latin compati which means “to suffer with.” Compassion is one of the fundamental teachings and practice concepts of all the major religions in the world. The depth of compassion depends on the depth of your understanding and practice of human heart virtues, and it can be mainly classified under two major structures:

Compassion created through direct attachment and the principle of locality

This state of compassion is the state of conditional love, which allows you to generate compassion towards those with whom you are directly involved. Your attachment to those systems determines the depth of your compassion towards them. This is also the level of conditional love and valor which is based on the level of their direct influence in your life and immediate surroundings.    

Compassion created through indirect connections and entanglement principles

This state of compassion is the state of unconditional love, which allows you to cultivate compassion toward those with whom you are indirectly involved. Your mere awareness of those systems engenders a depth of compassion toward them. Therefore, once you become aware of their existence, your heart begins to generate unconditional love towards them, regardless of your direct involvement with them.

From my own limited experience, I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life. As long as we live in this world we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but everyone who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude, each new obstacle can be seen as yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind! Thus we can strive gradually to become more compassionate, that is we can develop both genuine sympathy for others' suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.

Dalai Lama19

Exercise 4G — Compassion

Action:

This week, you are encouraged to explore the Virtue of Compassion in your own way. Begin with your own attachments, then slowly expand your sense of compassion toward other systems of which you are aware. At this point, with the authority of all seven virtues, you could easily go back to review your work with any previous exercises to see how your Tree of Life has grown. With the love of consciousness flowing steadily, know your life will bloom for all to enjoy.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi

“I am the change I wish to see in the world."

 

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compassion

End of Book One

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