Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gateway to Compassion

I had an interesting article in my inbox this morning. Its theme is related, I think, to some issues I have written about here before. To loosely paraphrase, it talks about valuing and fully experiencing your own feelings as a gateway to compassion. I think this is a nice counterpart to the question of aparigraha, letting go. Paradoxically, it is sometimes harder to let our feelings go because we repress them and refuse to fully experience them, or because we belittle them and somehow do not think we have the right to feel so strongly about what may seem to be relatively minor issues. However, many yogis have found - and this holds true in my experience as well - that by fully experiencing a negative emotion without repression or judgment, that emotion then lessens and becomes more bearable. In addition, remaining open and compassionate to ourselves and our own pain, allows us to approach the world with a heart that is open and loving in the face of suffering. The Buddha said, "Life is suffering," but he also offered an alternative. And the beautiful thing about suffering is that it is universal, it is what brings all beings together in mutual understanding.

This is kind of an accidental blog entry for me! I hope it gives you something to think about.