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#2381, Wednesday, February 1, 2006. Editor: Mark
The world is your problem; and to comprehend it, you must understand yourself. This understanding of yourself is not a matter of time. You exist only in relationship; otherwise you are not. Your relationship is the problem - your relationship to property, to people, and to ideas, or to beliefs. This relationship is now friction, conflict; and so long as you do not understand your relationship, do what you will, hypnotize yourself by any ideology or dogma, there can be no rest for you. This understanding of yourself is action in relationship. You discover yourself as you are, directly in relationship. Relationship is the mirror in which you can see yourself as you are. You cannot see yourself as you are in this mirror, if you approach it with a conclusion and an explanation, or with condemnation, or with justification.
The very perception of what you are, as you are, in the moment of action of relationship, brings a freedom from what is. Only in freedom can there be discovery. A conditioned mind cannot discover truth. Freedom is not an abstraction, but it comes into being with virtue. For, the very nature of virtue is to bring liberation from the causes of confusion. After all, non-virtue is disorder, conflict. But virtue is freedom, the clarity of perception that understanding brings. You cannot become virtuous. The becoming is the illusion of greed, or acquisitiveness. Virtue is the immediate perception of what is. So, self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom; and it is wisdom that will resolve your problems and so the problems of the world.
- J. Krishnamurti
O my soul, don't flee from the pain inflicted
by the Beloved. Pain will make you ripe.
Without pain you'll stay unripe.
- Rumi, posted to AlongTheWay
Q: "So we arrive at compassion. What, according to Buddhism, is compassion?"
A: "Just as wisdom covers the intellectual or comprehending side of our nature, compassion covers the emotional or feeling side of our nature. Like wisdom, compassion is a uniquely human quality.
Compassion is made up of two words, 'co' meaning together and 'passion' meaning a strong feeling. And this is what compassion is.
When we see someone in distress and we feel their pain as if it were our own, and strive to eliminate or lessen their pain, then this is compassion. So all the best in human beings, all the Buddha-like qualities like sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern and caring - all are manifestations of compassion. You will notice also that in the compassionate person, care and love towards others has its origins in care and love for oneself.
We can really understand others when we really understand ourselves. We will know what's best for others when we know what's best for ourselves. We can feel for others when we feel for ourselves.
So in Buddhism, one's own spiritual development blossoms quite naturally into concern for the welfare of others. The Buddha's life illustrates this very well. He spent six years struggling for his own welfare, after which, he was able to be of benefit to the whole of mankind."
Q: "So you are saying that we are best able to help others after we have helped ourselves. Isn't that a bit selfish?"
A: "We usually see altruism, concern for others before oneself, as being the opposite of selfishness, concern for oneself before others.
Buddhism does not see it as either one or the other but rather as a blending of the two. Genuine self-concern will gradually mature into concern for others as one sees that others are really the same as oneself.
This is genuine compassion and it is the most beautiful jewel in the crown of the Buddha's teaching."
- Ven. S. Dhammika, posted to DailyDharma
I went into the garden
I went into the garden at dawn to gather roses,
When suddenly I heard the voice of the nightingale.
Poor thing, he was stricken in anguish for the love of the rose,
And sprinkled the meadows round with his sobs, as he
looked for help.
Lost then in thought, slowly I paced in the garden,
Considering the affair of the rose and the nightingale.
The rose is become the image of Beauty, and the
nightingale of Love:
The one will grant no favors, yet the other still remains
When the voice of the nightingale prevailed upon my heart,
It seemed I had no power of endurance left.
For many roses have blossomed here in this garden,
But no one has plucked the rose without the stab of a thorn.
Hafiz, expect no relief from the turning heavens-
That wheel has a thousand flaws, and grants no favor
- Hafiz, from Hafiz of Shiraz - Thirty poems - An introduction to the Sufi Master, Translated by Peter Avery and John Heath Stubbs, posted to AlphaWorld
It's better to see God in everything than to try to figure it out.
- Neem Karoli Baba
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