Compassion

“Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion…is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.”
~ Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Compassion

Birdwings

“Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you are bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.”

~  Rumi

6f357dfbda1883e18fd1703a3063f5e3

Cold Mountain Poem #7

“I settled at Cold Mountain long ago,
Already it seems like years and years.
Freely drifting, I prowl the woods and streams
And linger watching things themselves.
Men don’t get this far into the mountains,
White clouds gather and billow.
Thin grass does for a mattress,
The blue sky makes a good quilt.
Happy with a stone under head
Let heaven and earth go about their changes.”
~ Han Shan, Cold Mountain Poems

cold_mountain_study_by_aarongriffinart-d5ty3j1

Hearts and minds

The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ”
~ Pema Chödrön

Open-Heart

Love

“Love is not what you want, it is what you are. It is very important to not get these two confused. If you think that love is what you want, you will go searching for it all over the place. If you think love is what you are, you will go sharing it all over the place. The second approach will cause you to find what the searching will never reveal.

Yet you cannot give love in order to get it. Doing that is as much as saying you do not now have it. And that statement will, of course, be your reality. No, you must give love because you have it to give. In this will you experience your own possession of it.”

~Neale Donald Walschholding hands