Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a Compassion in Action workshop at Samye Ling in Scotland. I had anticipated a lot of useful teaching but actually got much more than I had imagined.
“Compassion is kindness without judgment”
Sometimes I wonder why we find the most simple things in life so difficult to grasp and to apply in our lives. Mindfulness the practice of stillness, living in the present moment and developing a state of constant awareness, sounds easy but in reality it is challenging for most of us.
Compassion is kindness without expectations and conditions. It’s our natural state, we see that from watching babies and young children. They do not discriminate who they show love and kindness too, they don’t see colour, race, religion, gender and whatever else we use as a preference, they come with pure compassion built in. Over time we lose the capacity to be kind for the sake of it without a condition or judgement. Society, upbringing and all the other “stuff” fill us up so we are no longer able to just be compassionate without expecting something back.
Compassion – The only antidote to anger and aggression.
For centuries we have used aggression to fight aggression even though it only escalates the problem. We insist on sending armies in to other countries to fight and kill rather than deal with aggression with compassion in a peaceful way. What would really happen if we used compassion rather than aggression? Would we really be in more danger?
What can I do to change the world?
Sometimes we can get lost and overwhelmed when we hear news of tragedy and suffering like the current refugee crisis. We may feel a disconnect with society and lose hope, we can get into that state of seeing things as negative all around us.
The question is, who benefits from us becoming cynical and hopeless? It certainly doesn’t help those suffering. Moaning about a situation only fuels the negativity in us and others, it doesn’t change the situation.
Even the smallest act, whatever that might be will have a ripple affect. Our responsibility is to work on us, be the best person we can be, share our love, compassion and empathy. Help others regardless of who they are, judge less, moan less and act more. If we all did this, the world would be a much better place.
This video is a perfect example of compassion in action, it’s power is far greater than any act of violence and aggression.