Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Compassion
Love and Compassion Needed to be a Student of the Work
To be a student in this Work, you need these two motivations—love and compassion—from beginning to end. This is very tough work. To do the Work with love and compassion means to appreciate that this process is tough; it is an almost impossible task we are undertaking. So it is best not to give yourself a hard time about it. You need to learn to be patient, to not judge or criticize yourself when things do not happen the way you think they should. You need to not be too pessimistic, and also not too optimistic. If you are too pessimistic, you will create a lot of heaviness in your process. If you are too optimistic, you will create too many disappointments. Balance is the best way. It is not useful to look at yourself from one day or one week to the next and make a judgment: “I haven’t changed. I’ve been meditating for two months, and nothing has happened.” This is not being kind to yourself. You are not taking the nature of the task into consideration. If you want to consider changes, or improvement, you need to not look from one week to the next, but consider a span of several years. Fundamental changes do not happen in a short time. Transitory or superficial changes can happen in a short time, but real changes, fundamental changes that will last forever, take years of work.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 168
The Possibility of Experiencing One's Deep Wounds
Compassion: This is the aspect of loving kindness that is needed to experience and accept one’s hurts and wounds, without defense and without resentment. One cannot have an objective understanding about anyone if there is no Compassion. When there is Compassion it becomes possible to experience one’s deep wounds, an experience which readily leads to the aspects related to these wounds. Each time an aspect is buried there results a deep wound in the psyche, and the experience and acceptance of this wound is indispensable for the emergence of the buried aspect.Compassion is usually recognized in its manifestations such as consideration, regard, concern, sympathy, empathy, warmth and the like. However, it is a mode of consciousness, a presence of Being, in a certain differentiated form. Its real significance is not exactly to remove suffering, but to lead to the truth by providing the capacity to tolerate suffering. This increased tolerance for emotional suffering gives the individual the ability to refrain from ego defenses. This allows one to look objectively at one’s experience, which facilitates its metabolism. It eliminates suffering in a more ultimate and fundamental sense, by allowing the ability to see the deeper causes of suffering. Also, the increased tolerance and acceptance of experience allows one to just be, instead of trying to manipulate. This allows both objective understanding and personal presence. To be who one is is a compassionate act. It is compassionate towards oneself and towards all others.