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Nonduality Salon (/ \)

 
 
issue number one - September, 2000

Nonduality Salon Magazine

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Compassion

Christiana Duranczyk

(Someone posted on the NDS list:) My dictionary defines compassion as: "sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another, with the urge to help; deep sympathy; pity."

My heart defines compassion as: nothing to do with sorrow or suffering or sympathy. It is a movement of Being, which knows, with no belief, that beyond the appearance of flaws and brokenness and masks, we are the same. It is an employment of the energetic Eye of sameness, blazing through the narrow eye which thinks it sees an appearance of difference.

It is not a choice.. it just is.

The next day, Christiana revisited what she wrote above:

I find it very interesting to look at how we use words and the metaphors of meaning we have aligned with them.

Last night as I read the posted dictionary definition of compassion, I noticed how mismatched it felt with how I've come to live that word and sat down to look at what it means to me (sans etymology).

Then Andrew mentions "passion" as akin to suffering, and I note that passion is a term I use more akin to enthusiasm (en theos with God, avec etymology).

Since joining this list, I've held a deep inquiry into the ways that the word suffering is used. I've often resisted this word, thinking "I'm not suffering, what do they refer to?". Then the other day, this posted on the Jean Klein list:

"Every moment in which we wish things to be different than they are, we are suffering. Every moment in which we are not facing What Is, we are suffering."

And I saw more clearly the endless moments of Shmee (my friend Elysha's term for screaming me) and recognized the endless subtlety of attention shifted to the foreground.

As I reflect here, I see that compassion, as ordinarily used, is foreground behavior to foreground behavior (civility); yet there is an unshakable background awareness which has been solidly with me since childhood.

So, I'll modify my words of last night, as I do notice choice involved. It is choice to lift the "magnetic needle of attention" from the impermanence of the foreground and allow the viewing field to open in awarness.

David Hodges posted this quote from Ramana in his journal:

"Your duty is to be and not to be this or that. 'I am that I am' sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in the words 'Be still'. What does stillness mean? It means
destroy yourself. Because any form or shape is the cause for trouble. Give up the notion that 'I am so and so'. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?"

And it seems to me that to know this, is at the core of compassion. To re-mind the flotsam of appearance, of this inherent duty simply by living from there.

This passion (God, I AM) is what I rest in. It is quite simple to be there with self or with other. Compassion is merely reminding mind of suchness, upon which impermanence dissolves. And that surely aligns with Gene's Socratic reflection of the "truly" good.

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