International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 51 - Page 99

“All paths are the same.” Says Don Juan “They lead nowhere… The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.” In fact, as we delve more deeply into this idea of compassion, or “lovingkindness” as Buddhists like to call it, it becomes clear that why you do your spiritual practice is more important than how or what you practice. After some time, as we journey further, a shift of perspective occurs. This change happens when we begin to understand the inter-connectedness and relatedness of all things. At this point everything we do starts to be for the benefit of all beings, rather than solely for our own welfare. This is what true love really means. But what exactly is ‘compassion’? Simply put, it can be described as the genuine desire to ease the suffering of all beings, whether they be plant, insect, animal, human or spirit. It is the openness of heart that fills us with the wish that we never be the cause of another’s pain, and instead that all beings be happy, peaceful and be free from suffering. That brings us to the fundamental point of all this; the thing most difficult to grasp and most important to understand: it´s about compassion for all, and that means all, omitting none, no matter what they’ve done or who or what they are. Compassion is a totally open field, all encompassing. It is absolutely, completely and totally non-judgemental. Now, just to be clear, being compassionate doesn’t have anything to do with being a kind of loved-up zombie, expending all your energy giving away feelings of love & compassion while the whole world gets to walk all over you. Instead compassion is utterly meaningless without its inseparable counterpart, wisdom. In fact, it is often said that true compassion is wisdom in action. But before you jump off your seat acting all crazy in the name of compassion, here’s a useful little guideline from the Dalai Lama: “be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Keep these words forever in your heart, and you will never go astray. To the intelligent, sophisticated and highly complex thinking mind, this may seem far too simplistic a way to integrate spirituality into everyday life. But, let’s never underestimate the tremendous reserve of power and strength inherent in small, simple and regular acts of kindness and compassion. “be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Keep these words forever in your heart, and you will never go astray... www.internationallifestylemagazine.com