For #1000Speak for #Compassion: What Compassion Means to Me

Today is the second date of this year for bloggers and posters all over the world to join this growing movement, #1000Speak for #Compassion by posting a response to: “What does compassion mean to you?”

1000 Speak for Compassion 6-20-15

For #1000Speak for #Compassion: What Compassion Means to Me

1000 voices Compassion invitation


My first empowering Tibetan Buddhist teacher, the late His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, taught frequently on the topic of compassion because, as he said in every teaching I ever attended of his, motivation is the the most important part of anyone’s practice, with an emphasis on bodhicitta, “the awakened heart,” which means spontaneously emanating compassion. Compassionate motivation ought to be at the forefront of every thought, word, and action for everyone who has taken Refuge with a Buddhist teacher.

This is important because the surface Refuge vow, not to harm, does not seem to include any motivation or intention within it. Yet, it does; it must.

For Buddhists, to experience Compassion is to have the heartfelt wish to alleviate all other beings’ suffering, which we do as best we are able in every moment.

In contrast, to Love another is to put that being’s happiness (not temporary, mundane happiness, but ultimate, liberation-from-delusion-and-suffering-type-happiness) above our own.

There are pitfalls, especially for Westerners, which many Buddhist teachers explain and admonish us about.

—“Idiot compassion” is ill-advised. This type of response is reactive, gooey, “Awww” at a kitten video on YouTube feeling, or pity: not actual compassion at all. See above definition for a refresher. It also encourages the acceptance of what ought never to be accepted by being misguided as to what compassion entails. People who do harmful things must face the consequences. We can feel compassion toward them WHILE exacting appropriate measures to ensure they do no further harm.

—“Enabling” is not loving or compassionate action, yet putting others’ ultimate happiness above our own can sound like a recipe for co-dependence. The practitioner must be able to discern between aiding someone to attain some kind of superficial, temporary, mundane pleasures and assisting someone to gain ultimate, spiritual liberation: only the latter is the kind of happiness we strive to accomplish for/with others.

Pity is not compassion (see above). This is more complex than it may appear, however, because pity requires a hierarchy: “I am above you, I am better (off) than you, and therefore, I am in a position to judge, assess, and perhaps help you” and “I feel sorry for you (sympathy)” are those scripts.

—Contrast pity with actual compassion: “I feel with you (empathy). I have been and sometimes still/often are where you are now. We are more the same than different. When I am able to help you, I do so knowing that I, too, frequently need similar help.”

—Without compassion for oneself, it is impossible to feel genuine compassion for others. Self-compassion is not self-indulgence, however, and does not absolve one of taking responsibility, being accountable and striving to improve oneself at all times.

Compassion includes no “free pass.” Feeling compassion towards someone does mean we excuse or accept their every word, action or intention as wonderful. We can maintain our ability to evaluate others’ actions and work to prevent future harm WHILE we feel compassion for their situation and confusion. See above, for “idiot compassion.”

Meditation on exchanging-self-for-other is the key to experiencing spontaneous compassion for all beings. This means that we learn to see ourselves as the same as all other living beings: fundamentally wanting the same things and living in bodies unite us. At first, we pray to experience compassion for all, but usually, we feel compassion primarily for those we already care about and love. Therefore, in our practice, we state that we do feel compassion for all beings, even when we don’t. Eventually, with sufficient practice, we spontaneously feel nonjudgmental, evenly spread compassion for all beings, regardless of their status, condition, relationship to us, or location.

I have noticed a dramatic rise in my ability to feel compassion, even for the most heinous criminals, horribly harmful people, by remembering two things:
1. This being is merely trying to be happy, but because of karma and experiences, is completely confused as to how to achieve that and actually works against that goal, making their own misery and misery for others as well as bad karma.
2. This being and I are connected, as all beings are connected: somewhere, sometime, in some physical form or another, we have been/are each other’s mothers.

WORKS EVERY TIME.

I wish you all the best and may all beings benefit.

1000 Speak for Compassion

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“Kindness Chronicle” and “Elephant Journal”: Humans Sometimes Do Good

I grow weary of bad news, humans’ behaving atrociously and other direct hits to my ever-decreasing optimism. To counter the effects of the inevitable daily doses of ugly, I subscribe to two great sources of “humans sometimes do good”: The Kindness Chronicle at http://kindnesschronicle.com and
The Elephant Journal at http://elephantjournal.com

Unfortunately, my life is somewhat fast-paced and my priorities are often elsewhere, so instead of actually reading these daily posts and clicking on their links, I stockpile them in a folder. Just knowing they are there gives me comfort, and since I also subscribe/ LIKE their public pages on Facebook, I often see some of the individual link posts, anyway.

However, I mostly had no idea what actual uplifting stories are in this folder…until this week. So glad that I scheduled time to go through them to prepare this post.

From this stuffed inbox of good news (not the Christian “Good News” kind), I share some of these inspiring anecdotes with you all.

Enjoy! Subscribe! Do some good yourselves!

From The Kindness Chronicle:

KC-Logo-150px-Blue-Yellow

Most of the posts are stories describing individuals or organizations who have made considerable (but not necessarily extraordinary, given how many of them there are, now) efforts to demonstrate gratitude, kindness, helpfulness, volunteerism, respect, support, encouragement and other forms of caring to humans, animals and the environment. So many of them are similar, with the main distinction being location rather than activity, I decided not to list them here.

Please visit the above link, or the link below, for plenty of ideas, examples and even some research results on outcomes for “Paying it Forward,” teaching empathy and compassion, and other actions taken in the name of Kindness.

The Write Place: Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness site http://goo.gl/mWZ5nk recommends, among other sites: http://randomactsofkindness.org

Below is one of hundreds of images that heralds this excellent “movement”:

InspireKindnessQuote
image from http://www.cbizschool.com


From The Elephant Journal:

EJ logo

The Elephant Journal is an online ‘zine and site that provides updates, information and opinion articles (warning: most of these are junk science, “New Age” garbage, and “affirmations” that aren’t worth reading) on a variety of topics related to living “a more mindful life.” This open-ended mandate allows The Elephant Journal to surprise me often with their choices of topics, perspectives and data.

TEJ‘s pieces include multimedia formats that can feature humor, health, relationships, nutrition info/recipes, politics and edgy/radical points of view (with the aforementioned exceptions), pulled from a diverse group of commentators. I don’t always agree with or even like what is posted, but I appreciate the range of opinions, which can veer way over to “totally ‘woo-woo,’ New-Age junk science” to well-researched, documented, data-filled info pieces.

I appreciate this compilation enormously and respect the people who work there and write/ create/ collate/ curate for TEJ a lot. TEJ also posts excellent images (photographs, logos, infographics, memes) that are inspiring, beautiful and informative separately or to accompany an article.

Here are some of my favorite recent examples of their offerings, which arrive in emails entitled: “A Daily Gap in the Inbox of Your Mind,” steered by Waylon Lewis, editor-in-chief, host of Walk the Talk Show.

Evan Silverman opens his heart and explores how we can do the same in “Blow The Roof off Your Heart” (a piece that originally appeared in the Shambhala Times) http://goo.gl/ppT30e

—Great resources for businesspeople who wish to incorporate more mindfulness into their work lives are in “Waylon & Blake’s Best Mindful Business Books & Resources for Entrepreneurs,” in which Waylon Lewis wrote:

“This is a list that would have saved me years of my life, made me hundreds of thousands of dollars and spared me (and my team) hundreds of mistakes.” http://goo.gl/z9wbo9

—What about something eminently practical? Shoes that grow! Awesome! http://goo.gl/v5BJst

Waylon Lewis (the editor of TEJ) also bares his soul (sensing a theme, here, of my faves?), in “Thank You for Helping to Break My Heart,” that richly moved and helped me: http://goo.gl/Lj928K

Most tellingly, he starts with this subtitle: “I am sorry I loved you so badly.” I have a list of people I should say this to….Sigh.

The ending is also worth quoting in its entirety, in case you don’t click through:

May our relationships teach us. May we improve, instead of merely defending our confusion. May our intention be to be of benefit, and not merely to “get what we want.”

Life is hard, sometimes. Sometimes it’s rich and dear. If we want to take it easy, we should instead wish to be stronger, and more vulnerable.

May our love life be as full of grace as our spiritual path, our right livelihood, and our friendships and family relationships.

True love is defined by correct intention.

Thank you, Waylon.


My email program just informed me: “Your ‘Kindness and Good Deeds’ folder is now empty.” I’m glad to know it will surely be filling up again.

Reblogged: 34 Acts of #Kindness #Aliens Would Appreciate

“Suspended” coffee orders, free meals, conversations and empathy with those in need, assisting without being asked, thank-you notes, taking responsibility, rescues and generosity of all kinds are included in this post.

Just what we need to remind ourselves of what it CAN mean to be human.

Maybe the #aliens won’t keep ignoring us….

We ALWAYS have enough time to be kind.

Sorry note

from The Kindness Blog (link below)

Link to full article here, on The Kindness Blog:
http://kindnessblog.com/2014/11/03/34-examples-of-heart-warming-humanity/

#60for60: 60 ACTS OF #KINDNESS AND GRATITUDE– each of the days before my 60TH

#60for60: 60 ACTS OF #KINDNESS AND GRATITUDE– each of the days before my 60TH (birthday)
June 21, 2014 to 8/22/14

happy-60th-birthday-5-x-3-flag-3922-p

I may not do these in the order listed, but I do intend to do them by August 22. I plan to blog about any that merit mentioning. Otherwise, just assume the following are occurring, somehow. I hope this inspires YOU!

Those with a $ next to them require some money to be expended (not much, usually).
1. $
Give a very good tip
2. $
Pay for someone’s gas.
3. $
Pay someone’s fees to foster a dog or cat from shelter
4. $
Leave change in a vending machine
5.
Volunteer
6. $
Donate a random amount of money to a homeless person
7.
Open doors for people
8.
Give genuine compliments to someone’s very unseen blogs
9.
Donate supplies I don’t use
10. $
Donate to classrooms at local school.

support teachers

11. $
Give someone an umbrella
12.
Let someone behind me go in front of me in a line
13.
Clean a neighbor’s curb area or put their garbage cans back after pick-up
14. $
Buy someone’s groceries in the checkout or provide what someone on assistance is “missing” to complete a purchase
15. $
Pick up the tab for a random family/person
16. $
Buy some carry-out lunch and deliver it to a homeless person
17.
Give compliments to at least two people.
18. $
Buy some toys a child might like and leave them on their porch.
19.
Post about something useful to others
20. $
Go to the bank and deposit money into someone else’s account
21. $
Pay off someone’s layway at a store
22. $
Cook lunch for someone I know and bring to them
23. $
Buy a college student’s textbook or lunch

college textbooks

24.
Leave a thank -you note at farmers’ market vendor’s stall (or more than one)
25.
Collect coupons and leave at laundromats 
26.
Leave Buddhist magazines at homeless shelters
27.
Donate clothes, coats, shoes
28. $
Reserve a coffee at coffee shop
29.
Read someone’s writing and give constructive feedback
30.
Send a thank-you note to a family member (or more than one)
31.
Send a thank-you note to a friend (or more than one)
32.
Offer to edit, rewrite, or help write something for someone for free
33.
Respond to someone’s comments with positive statements in FB, LinkedIn, Google+ groups
34.
Thank group moderators in above groups
35.
Tweet about someone else’s writing, music or art

SUPPORT-INDIE-ART

36.
RT or repost someone’s great quote
37.
Vote up someone’s submission on Reddit, StumbleUpon, Youtube
38.
Thank every cashier and waitron I can’t tip
39.
Offer to help someone who seems to need help at stores, farmers’ market, library
40.
Donate books to library book sale
41. $
Donate food to food bank
42.
Offer a ride to someone with burdens walking to the BART or bus
43. $
Buy a BART (public transportation) ticket and give it away
44. $
Leave tips in tip jars even when I don’t buy anything
45. $
Donate to my spiritual teacher even when I don’t see him
46.
Get and give coupons for free ebooks to teachers 
47.
Write positive reviews for books and rank them on Amazon or businesses on YELP or other sites
48. $
Visit one church or temple per month and donate to charity tray/basket
49.
Send thank-you notes to musicians, writers, artists whose work I appreciate
50.
Send thank-you notes to teachers or their children/spouses
51.
Scan then post/email photos from albums for friends, family and let them know
52.
Make youtube vids thanking writing support groups leaders/members and cover artist, Willowraven, reviewers and beta readers, then post
53. $
Pay someone’s parking meter or give a hard-to-find space up to someone else

parking fairy
image from: http://offhandcomics.com

54.
Compliment a parent on their parenting in public place
55.
Compliment/thank a public servant in person or online
56.
Write letter to editor of local paper thanking honest, dedicated local politicians
57.
Blog about gratitude to my/one’s ancestors
58.
Share positive stories about people I knew who are now dead to their living descendants
59.
Thank Buddhist sangha members and/or support one’s retreat
60.

Find someone else whose birthday is today and wish them “Happy Birthday!”

60 BD

25 Examples of Real-Life Superheroes That Rescued Others

I love reading about kindness, courage and compassion in action. Thanks for posting! I’m reposting!

Kindness Blog

A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School, on May 20, 2013.
A boy is pulled from beneath a collapsed wall at the Plaza Towers Elementary School, on May 20, 2013.
Bijlee, the 58-year-old ailing elephant rescued by individuals and NGOs sometime back, Mumbai, India.
Bijlee, the 58-year-old ailing elephant rescued by individuals and NGOs sometime back, Mumbai, India.
Fisherman Gernot Quaschny rescues a deer from the floods near Schoenhausen, Germany, on June 12, 2013. Due to a broken dike on the Elbe River, several villages in the area were flooded.
Fisherman Gernot Quaschny rescues a deer from the floods near Schoenhausen, Germany, on June 12, 2013. Due to a broken dike on the Elbe River, several villages in the area were flooded.
Inmate firefighters prepare to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., in August.
Inmate firefighters prepare to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., in August.
Rescue workers carry a child who was rescued from the rubble at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai, India, in September.
Rescue workers carry a child who was rescued from the rubble at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai, India, in September.
Rescuers pull out a female survivor, Reshma, alive 16 days after a garment factory building collapsed in Bangladesh.
Rescuers pull out a female survivor, Reshma, alive 16 days after a garment factory building collapsed in Bangladesh.

squirrel

A man rescues a woman from her car on a flooded road in the Athens suburb of Chalandri in February.
A man rescues a woman from her car on a flooded road in the Athens suburb of Chalandri – 2013
Reddit user, ‘Hannernanner’, shared the photo above and wrote;      “Actually, I am in law enforcement. There were many dogs at this residence that were removed by animal control, but considering his disability and how full our animal stays, I knew he wouldn’t last long. So I took him to the vets… They cleaned him up- tested him for parvo and distemper, gave him his shots, wormed him and all… I brought him home, hes happy and I found a home for him w[ith] a friend who can better care for him and devote more time to his disability.”
Blind Pup saved from a meth lab
Reddit…

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