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Compassion in a Modern World

November 8, 2013

The Buddha said that compassion sometimes feels like a slap across the face. I have often felt this way after a session with my Teacher. In fact, I remember a friend returning from a session with my Teacher many years ago completely aghast, she said to me: ‘I have just been to see your Teacher, I spent twenty minutes telling her all about my life, why I was there and how wonderful everything was and do you know what she said? “Right, now tell me what you really think!”’.

The slap of compassion is indeed ruthless but at the same time – really rather funny!

We cannot hide from the truth. No matter how far away we run from ourselves, we of course paradoxically take our authentic selves with us. Regardless of how much positive thinking (brainwashing) we pile on top of our innermost fears and regrets, the truth will eventually out.

When the truth outs we then, eventually (!) become more positive naturally. This, my dear friends, is a completely different process than what we are (mis)led to believe. Compassion can bring about such huge transformation in our lives as individuals and then within our wider communities. Compassion is a word often bandied around and misunderstood. Maybe I am misunderstanding it too but I am doing the best I can. Compassion is, to me, about honesty and human connection free from fear and judgement. In fact, have you ever read ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer? Now that – is compassion. No steering clear of others’ suffering, no sign of New Age philosophy – just good, hard old fashioned compassion.

“I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow”

“I want to know if you can stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back” – both excerpts from ‘The Invitation’ By Oriah from her book, THE INVITATION (c)1999. Published by HarperONE, San Francisco. All rights reserved.

Here’s to slapping ourselves awake, and here’s a hug for upon your awakening XHUGX

(and if you would be so kind as to throw me a rope… I’m gonna pull myself up from this slumber… any day now :-))

Matt xx

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