Compassion may be the single most important trait on the spiritual path, the very essence of enlightenment. On the verse, ‘You shall follow the Lord your God….& to Him you shall cling,’ the Talmud asks, ‘How can one follow after the Divine Presence?’ Just as He is gracious & compassionate, so you should be gracious & compassionate. Compassion is not just another virtue, it is the chief means of attaching ourselves to God……Eliezer Shore
as we move into our lives with a deeper awareness, keen questioning, & a yearning for that which cannot be named, we move into the realm of compassion….testing our boundaries & hitting our ugly spots…..staying present with the bare truth of tough humanity takes an enormous amount of courage & the same self-compassion as we attempt to heap on others….
this life is not a game, & it’s not always nice…..the deeper we practice (whatever your spiritual or human-loving path), the more we realize what compassion is not….it’s not pity, it’s not helping, it is not a deed or kindness….it’s not being able to know why or how we are motivated…
we simply share in the suffering of others….it’s not what we think or feel, it’s what we are……
it is pure…..yet it is found in the gritty space, the uglies…the place where only angels tread….
Christ’s call to love one another is a call to leave the prison of our fragmented ego, to ‘forget ourselves’…to turn away from our small selves & open to the needs of others. The real significance of Christ’s cross is not a sign of suffering & death, but a sign of God’s humility, his will to empty himself of his divine status to share the sufferings of the world. It is the same compassion that led the Buddha to lay aside his freedom from the cycle of birth & death in order to show all beings the path of liberation from the prison of self. It is the same compassion that countless people in all religious traditions continue to attempt in their own lives…Irma Zaleski
our willingness to be present to another is the ultimate challenge…our finest gift….& the hardest slap in the face sometimes….step into our humanity…..becoming who we were meant to be….