from the organizers:
“Be A Part Of A Movement: #1000Speak for #Compassion” 2/20/15
“How cool would it be if we could get 1000 bloggers on the same day to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement etc.?
“We could call it 1000 Voices For Compassion.
“When: February 20, 2015
“How: Write a post TODAY on your blog or Facebook or Google + or LinkedIn or Instagram or any other social media you use about #compassion. What does it mean to you? How has it affected you? How can we bring more of it to those who need it?
“Really, there are no rules, just as long as it’s about compassion.”
From the Facebook group devoted to this event:
Let’s get 1000 bloggers to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgment, care for the environment etc, and ALL PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY (Feb 20th) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD! Use the hashtag #1000Speak to promote this event.
I am one of the more than 1000, today.
My post about compassion:
As many of you know, I am a Buddhist (in this and many lifetimes, apparently) in the Tibetan Vajrayana Nyingma tradition. During the many times I’ve listened to teachers speak and I have read the writings of others on topic of compassion, the definition of compassion is what stays with me consistently. According to Buddhism, compassion arises spontaneously within us and moves us to do our best to alleviate the suffering of others.
For me, the companion to this definition is the Buddhist view of love. In the Buddhists’ view, when we feel authentic love, we are moved to speak, think and act in ways that would be most likely to bring about the circumstances that generate happiness for the object of our love and do our best to prevent their being unhappy, even when it means we put them first, above ourselves.
Furthermore, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been quoted repeatedly, as other teachers before and around him have, also, as giving advice along these lines: “If you want to be happy, focus on helping others be happy.”
Add in the multiple lifetimes component, or karma, and we hear this advice repeatedly throughout Buddhist teachings: “If you want to discover what your past lifetimes were like, look at your present behaviors, thoughts and words. If you want to plant the seeds of your future happiness, look at your present behaviors, thoughts and words.”
NOW is what matters most.
Then, there are the instructions and advice for daily living that arise from teachings on The 6 Paramitas (usually translated as “6 Perfections”), such as Pema Chödrön, an American woman who became one of the first Western Tibetan Buddhist nuns, teachers and authors, spoke about in The Places that Scare You, page 98
THE SIX WAYS OF COMPASSIONATE LIVING
Generosity. Giving as a path of learning to let go.
Discipline. Training in not caushing harm in a way that is daring and flexible.
Patience. Training in abiding with the restlessness of our energy and letting things evolve at their own speed. If waking up takes forever, still we go moment by moment, giving up all hope of fruition and enjoying the process.
Joyful enthusiasm. Letting go of our perfectionism and connecting with the living quality of every moment.
Meditation. Training in coming back to being right here with gentleness and precision.
Prajna (or transcendent wisdom). Cultivating an open, inquiring mind.
Putting that all together has given me a great blueprint for my life. I base my minute-by-minute and larger decisions on determinations of how I can be most effective in helping others be happy, especially those I love, by practicing the 6 Paramitas. I combine that with seeking what I am able to accomplish that might help alleviate others’ suffering, even that of strangers or beings I do not know or come into contact with in my current circumstances.
With those aims in my heart, I make it my daily spiritual practice to try to live my life imbued with compassion and love for others.
I frequently fail.
I am impatient. I am selfish. I get angry. I am self-centered. I forget my aims. I lose sight of my heart-centered, larger goals by getting trapped in minutiae and short-term satisfaction. I want what I want and too often I see everything as a zero-sum game I am determined to win. I have been trained in these values, these behaviors and these perspectives: they are second-nature to me.
That’s the reason it’s called spiritual practice: we have to keep trying, keep re-dedicating ourselves to the attempt, moment by moment, day by day. These attitudes do not come naturally to me; I was not provided with a lot of role models on how great it is to be kind, to be generous, to be diligent, to be focused on others’ happiness, to put myself second. I have to strive more sometimes than others, but I usually have to try. Hard.
It is difficult. Scary. Frustrating. Discouraging.
But, I am resolute. Committed. Determined. I have taken vows to this effect, starting with the most basic vow that all Buddhists take, the vow not to harm.
My best moments are characterized by a look back, comparing it to now, and noticing that I haven’t had to put in any effort to feel and act in compassionate ways. When these urges arise spontaneously, I am even more joyful. I know I have had a successful moment when the love I feel for someone really does inspire me to be unselfish and put them first.
When embodying the 6 Paramitas as best I can is making others as well as ME happy, it’s a good moment, a good hour, a good day, a good life.
Excellent moments are surrounded by many in which I am ordinary, selfish and ungenerous.
I re-dedicate myself and continue to practice.
Some days, some moments, my compassion and love practices seem to have taken root.
I hope yours do, also.
Participate in #1000Speak by following this link and the links within the following post.
Very cool #Author moment report: Last month, as I was writing this blog post and looking for an image via Google’s free images, I put in: “‘Keep Going’ Buddhist,” and what came up?
The book cover for my own book, Volume I, The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything!!! It was pretty far down, but it was there!
It is part of my practice to write Buddhist-themed books with practicing Buddhists as characters, but how did Google know that? Wow!