Living Life From A Sacred Place of Compassion

taoist quotesThere is a widely told story that speaks to the value of compassion. It seems that a woman who lived a Tao-centered life came upon a precious stone while sitting by the banks of a running stream in the mountains, and she placed this highly valued item in her bag.

The next day, a hungry traveler approached the woman and asked for something to eat. As she reached into her bag for a crust of bread, the traveler saw the precious stone and imagined how it would provide him with financial security for the remainder of his life. He asked the woman to give the treasure to him, and she did, along with some food. He left, ecstatic over his good fortune and the knowledge that he was now secure.

A few days later the traveler returned and handed back the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he told her. "Although I know how valuable this is, I'm returning it to you in the hopes that you could give me something even more precious."

"What would that be?" the woman inquired.

"Please give me what you have within yourself that enabled you to give me that stone."

The woman in this story was living her life from a sacred place of compassion.

-Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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Conquer Your Fears

conquer your fearsAllow yourself to consider this possibility: There is no tragedy in life, and there are no victims. In this consideration lies your own empowerment.

How can there not be tragedies?
In many ways, your enemies can teach you much more than your friends. You can't have control over what happens to you in this moment, but you do have control over your response to it, and over the context in which you put it. In the case of rape, there are many people who will go through traumas and see themselves as victims. And others who will find compassion and understand that anyone who is doing violence is hurting very much.


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From Emotional Stress To Inner Peace In Minutes

Inner PeaceDo you find yourself at times getting so frustrated and emotional over what someone said, the way they approached you or how they responded?

Have you then continued to keep this in your head and review it over and over again? I know I have. The interesting thing is that this can really put you in a tail spin as you continue to dwell on the issue and think about how you can bite back or make the other person feel bad or better yet, get even. You continue this spin cycle until you work yourself into such a state of mind that you can't do anything but feel stuck and incapacitated. That you're so involved in your head that you must share it with anyone who will listen. What should you do when this happens?

Break the pattern! When you continue to force your mind to dwell on issues that cause you emotional stress, notice what state your body is in. It is in the constant fight or flight mode and if you stay in this place long enough, you will begin to invite illness, physical harm and psychological frustration that will attract more of the same.

How to break the pattern? First, be aware that you are dwelling on this issue and notice how your body feels. Ask yourself, is this state of mind supporting me in my ultimate goals and vision? And then ask yourself, what can I do now that will support my goals and vision? What state of mind would be productive for me and those around me?

Try this: Think of a word that you enjoy, that rejuvenates you, brings you peace, invites love in and helps you view the world in a "glass half full" space. The word that I personally use is "Playful." The next time you notice yourself getting into the spin cycle of your mind that causes emotional trauma and physical stress, try repeating your word 9 times. If no result, try repeating it 36 times. And for those times that are really difficult, repeat the word aloud or silently to yourself 108 times.

What this does is to help you break the pattern that your mind puts you in and provides something beneficial to focus on. When you do this, notice how your body feels afterwards. If you don't feel better, continue to use your word until you can return to your true-self and be in a positive state of mind and body where your greatest success and happiness reside.

What will your word be?

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Compassion and Excuses

CompassionIt is impossible to need excuses when the focus of life shifts to How may I serve? Thinking of others first - reaching out to them despite how it might inconvenience you - causes you to feel joy, which is what the hungry traveler was actually seeking. This gift of feeling good (or feeling God) within comes from serving and surrendering rather than asking and demanding.

There's no room for blame in your life as long as you live with kindness. And excuses, regardless of their form, are all about blame. Blaming your past. Blaming the economy. Blaming your perceived personal flaws. Blaming God. Blaming your DNA. There's no shortage of circumstances, people, and events to blame - and there's no shortage of blame itself.

When you shift to compassion, all blame disappears. So no matter what you may want for yourself, discover how you can want it more for someone else, and then make that shift. In that contemplative moment, compassion will eradicate finger-pointing and trump excuse making. And you'll begin to think like God thinks: serving, offering, and loving freely.

The wise woman in the mountains who gave the precious stone to a stranger had no need to think about poverty or unhappiness, to hold a cynical view toward the greedy masses, or to explain the way she lived her life. Why? Because her ego was out of the picture, and love and service reigned supreme.

I've certainly found that when I remember to nurture kindness and courtesy, everything in my life seems to move toward more harmony and peace, to say nothing of how much better I feel when I'm giving rather than wanting.

I heard the Dalai Lama speak on compassion some years back, and the essence of his message contained these two points:

1. Compassion is the single most important quality that humanity needs to learn. This is the way to find happiness and health and to feel successful.

2. War and violence would become extinct in one generation if, beginning at the age of five, children were taught to meditate on compassion for an hour a week for the rest of their lives. Such is the power of a compassionate approach to life, which is truly thinking of others and living by the ancient Golden Rule.

The very second you feel yourself retreating to excuses, repeat the mantra How may I serve? Then act upon the answers you receive. You'll become aligned with the universal mind, which is always giving, and the bonus is that you'll notice the universe asking you back, "How may I serve you?"

As your compassion for others flows back to you, remember the truth: You do not attract what you want; you attract what you are. So make compassion be what you are.

- Excuses Begone by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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Be Where You Are

Be Present

You can cultivate the four limitless qualities of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity by learning to relax where you are. There's no problem with being where you are right now. Even if you feel loving-kindness and compassion for only one sentient being, that is a good place to start.

Simply acknowledging, respecting, and appreciating the warmth is a way to encourage its growth. We can be where we are and at the same time leave wide open the possibility of being able to expand far beyond where we are now in the course of our lifetime.

Expansion never happens through greediness or pushing or striving. It happens through some combination of learning to relax where you already are and, at the same time, keeping the possibility open that your capacity, my capacity, the capacity of all beings, is limitless. As we continue to relax where we are, our opening expands. This is the potential of a human being. This is the gift of a human birth.

When we say, "May I have happiness," or, "May I be free of suffering," or, "May any individual have happiness and be free of suffering," we are saying that it is the potential of a human being to expand our capacity for opening and caring limitlessly.

It starts out with feeling love or compassion for one being. It can expand to include more and more beings, until it reaches the full human capacity for connecting with love and compassion, which is limitless, free-flowing warmth - dynamic, alive, connected energy with no reference point.

This is our human potential
: To connect with the true state of affairs. It begins with being where we are.

- Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

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Cultivating Compassion


Just as nurturing our ability to love is a way of awakening bodhichitta, so also is nurturing our ability to feel compassion. Compassion, however, is more emotionally challenging than loving-kindness because it involves the willingness to feel pain. It definitely requires the training of a warrior.

For arousing compassion, the nineteenth-century yogi Patrul Rinpoche suggests imagining beings in torment - an animal about to be slaughtered, a person awaiting execution. To make it more immediate, he recommends imagining ourselves in their place. Particularly painful is his image of a mother with no arms watching as a raging river sweeps her child away.

To contact the suffering of another being fully and directly is as painful as being in that woman's shoes. For most of us, even to consider such a thing is frightening. When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience our fear of pain.

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion; to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.

It can be difficult to even think about beings in torment, let alone to act on their behalf. Recognizing this, we begin with a practice that is fairly easy. We cultivate bravery through making aspirations. We make the wish that all beings, including ourselves and those we dislike, be free of suffering and the root of suffering.

- Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

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Dalai Lama on Compassion

Dalai Lama

"I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed."

- Dalai Lama

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What is Compassion?

Compassion is a selfless form of passion, a self-indulgent emotion transformed by wisdom into empathy for the suffering of others. The emotional energy of compassion is every bit as potent as ordinary passion, but rather than scattering energy and disrupting equanimity with bouts of unrestrained emotion, compassion focuses energy and motivates intent to apply one's wisdom and other resources towards helping people.

In Tantric Tibetan tradition, the compassion cultivated by the transformation of ordinary emotional energy is also known as 'skilful means', for it enables adepts skilfully to utilize their mind and energy for the benefit of others as well as for their own spiritual development.

Source: The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing

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