The Sorrow in Compassion
I've been working on making a relaxation meditation CD this summer. It has been an exercise in patience, and computer software skills, but I feel like I am finally getting somewhere with it! I hope to reveal some of it on my website this summer or early fall....
One of the tracks I am recording is a "lovingkindness" meditation, which I teach in Yoga for Grief Support, to cultivate compassion for ourselves and for others. This morning, I was reading up on compassion, and kindness, and came across this wonderful quote. I love that included in the definition of compassion is sadness. I know, in my own personal experience, there is a definite link between sorrow and compassion - one that I have actually grown to appreciate. It's this intertwining of two seemingly paradoxical emotions that reminds me not only of the amount of suffering in this world, but also the amount of love.
The quote is from A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield, and it is a quote by Chogyam Trungpa:
"When you awaken your heart, you find to your surprise that your heart is empty. You find that you are looking into outer space. What are you, who are you, where is your heart? If you really look, you won't find anything tangible or solid...If you search for the awakened heart, if you put your hand through your rib cage and feel for it, there is nothing there but tenderness. You feel sore and soft, and if you open your eyes to the rest of the world, you feel tremendous sadness. This sadness doesn't come from being mistreated. You don't feel sad because someone has insulted you or because you feel impoverished. Rather, this experience of sadness is unconditioned. It occurs because your heart is completely open, exposed. It is the pure raw heart. Even if a mosquito lands on it, you feel so touched...It is the tender heart of a warrior that has the power to heal the world."
Chogyam Trungpa calls this the 'spiritual warrior's tender heart of sadness'...which I think is a beautiful description of the love, rawness and courage it takes to live with loss and grief.
From one warrior to many warriors,
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