Friday, November 12, 2010

Understanding The True Meaning of Compassion

In life we are taught to be sympathetic to those in need or the suffering. Sympathy means to share the feelings of another, and in the dictionary it even states having compassion. When you "share" the feelings of another you are not being compassionate towards them or yourself. There is no need to take on the emotional feeling of another persons’ pain in order to be compassionate towards them or to care how they are feeling. Sympathy is the opposite of the true meaning of compassion.

The true meaning of compassion is to have a deep awareness of the suffering of another without the need to relieve it, feeling total appreciation for it's value, all while being in a state of non-judgment.

Being compassionate seems to go against what we have been conditioned to believe. For some reason as humans we feel the need to take on the pains of another to truly understand what they are going through. There is the tendency to think if we see one suffering we must do something to help relieve it or make it better. How dare us walk past a starving child on the street and not help in some way. It is in humane of us. How can we not feel the anguish of the family down the street who just lost a family member to a tragic unexpected death?!

I ask you this, what good are you doing anyone by feeling their pain? If someone is going through pain they need light around them not more worry and misery. If you take on their pains you are doing no one good at all. In life everything happens for a reason and we must respect that everything happened just as it should have. It has value. If it did not happen many other things, thoughts, feelings, emotions, lessons would not have followed as well. Including this one learning how to be truly compassionate.

We see the evening news and think how horrible our world is becoming. Thoughts of judgment and negativity swell up inside us because what we see on TV is so horrible and makes us feel badly. We are judging the people, situations, and events based on what we are being shown is happening in the world instead of sending love and being compassionate towards the divine plan playing out in front of us.

How can the president, the people, or god allow this to happen in the world?! Everything happens for a reason even if you do not mentally comprehend it. Right now though your lesson from all seeing and experiencing the bad you see in the world is teaching you a lesson grander than love, you are learning to be compassionately detached. By allowing the world to unfold, as tragic as it may be, you are practicing true compassion. You have detached yourself from the pain, the emotions, and the judgment of a situation and stayed within the faith of the overall divine plan. Instead of taking on the pains and adding negativity by being truly compassionate you do not feed the situation more negativity and are capable of allowing a situation to heal quicker and service its purpose.

Being a compassionate person is not easy because we are humans and we have deep emotions and we by nature are sympathetic but if we are to heal the world we must allow it to play out as it may or we are only adding to the misery and sinking along with it. True compassion takes practice. We need to be compassionate for ourselves and imperfections as well as others. We must realize that good and evil do exist in our world and one can not be with out the other. If we can not have black without white or lightness without darkness then we must accept it and understand the value in it and learn from it instead of dwelling within the agony of what is inevitable. Compassion is what the meaning of true love is. If you can be compassionately detached you are shedding light on the situation instead of unneeded worry, anger, and sadness.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bring Your Self To Awareness

When you are a child all you know is what you like and what you dislike. As you get a little older you begin to understand what you come to believe "right" and "wrong". Soon thereafter you discover what it is others do not like about you and then you begin to question if you are "right" or "wrong".
When in your life do you begin to bring your "self" into your awareness? At about the age of 18 you feel as though you have it all figured out. You rebel against authority and go out into the world to make your dreams come true. When you are in your mid to late 20's you finally realized your parents are human too and you can not blame them for your problems. So how did you become so dysfunctional and end up so confused? As you enter your 30's you are overcome with needing to meet your goals you did not take advantage of when you were younger and wish you had listened to your parents or those older and wiser with life experience. You are only growing older and wiser everyday aren't you? Is life experience teaching you everything you need to know? Or is life just making you get old faster? Is life passing you by?
More than likely over the years you were always too busy with outside stimulation, action, and distractions that you never had the opportunity to bring your true inner self into awareness. If you had taken the time over the years to get to know who you are from the inside out instead you may have been able to avoid many years of needless worry, pain, and anxiety.
When you were young you were just learning what felt right and what didn't. Your language and form of communication was very limited. You weren't sure who you or anyone else was just yet but you had your sensors on and your awareness open to new things. As you got older and you learned what felt right and didn't you then began to notice when others put pressure on you to be a certain way. This was the stage that self awareness should have begun. Children should be guided to get to know themselves and become aware of their behavior and actions early on in life. If we teach children to be self aware and get to know them selves we are teaching them early on how to deal with life’s problems.
By knowing who you are you are able to easily steer away from the negative things that trigger failure for you. If you know yourself you understand how you react to things and how you may need to change in order to align yourself with the highest good. If you know yourself and you can learn to express yourself with or with out words and life would flow.
Instead we go through life blindly and many painful obstacles are placed on our path. Because we are so asleep and unaware of ourselves these obstacles appear to be giant mountains that are treacherous to conquer. A lot of times you climb that rough mountain and get to the top and are so proud of yourself only to turn around and find another placed right in front of you just as hard and just as painful!
What if you were more awake! What if you knew yourself better?! Do you think the mountain would be just as big? It would probably seem like a little hill once you had the tools to climb over it properly. It wouldn’t be as painful because you would know what to expect how and how handle what would be on your path don’t you think?
No one gives you a handbook in life and says this is how you live. We all go about it in different ways and some choose the roughest paths while others choose easy paths but get nothing out of it.
There may be no written handbook but we do have many ways of bringing ourselves into awareness. We can begin by looking to the stars. They have been there since before we were born. In ancient times they were used to navigate not only the planet but ones self. Numbers have always been in our lives. It is the earliest form of counting and has many coded meanings that even the most ingenious mathematicians are still trying to break. But they have a magical purpose in our lives and helping us understand who we are. We can use both astrology and numerology to help bring to awareness that we are. Once we have done some self exploring and opened our minds to who we are we can begin to learn how to open our hearts. We being to understand that we need alone time, silence, and reflection in order to go within. Once we take time to reflect on our lives and quiet our minds we soon learn that we are on the path of self transformation.
Life does have handbooks! There are symbols, signs, and prayers that can lead you within so you can begin to know who it is you really are. Once you open your mind your heart will being to open natural. Wake up and look in the mirror. Stop worrying about the horrible things life has dealt you and start empowering yourself on how to conquer those obstacles by going within and bringing your true self into awareness! If life is truly short then why waste time and energy worrying about goals and what others are doing and thinking? Instead stop wasting time and energy and empower yourself by KNOWING yourself!
If you would like further guidance and knowledge on how to bring yourself into awareness please feel free to email me, Lori Marie, at or visit my website at

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Samuri's Pride

The samurai's pride

Heaven and hell are not geographical, they are psychological, they are your psychology. Heaven and hell are not at the end of your life, they are here and now. Every moment the door opens; every moment you go on wavering between heaven and hell. It is a moment-to-moment question, it is urgent; in a single moment you can move from hell to heaven, from heaven to hell.

Hell and heaven are within you. The doors are very close to each other: with the right hand you can open one, with the left hand you can open another. With just a change of your mind, your being is transformed --from heaven to hell and from hell to heaven. Whenever you act unconsciously, without awareness, you are in hell; whenever you are conscious, whenever you act with full awareness, you are in heaven.

The Zen master Hakuin is one of the rare flowerings. A warrior came to him, a samurai, a great soldier, and he asked "Is there any hell, is there any heaven? If there is hell and heaven, where are the gates? Where do I enter from? How can I avoid hell and choose heaven?"

He was a simple warrior. A warrior is always simple; otherwise he cannot be a warrior. A warrior knows only two things, life and death--his life is always at stake, he is always gambling; He is a simple man. He had not come to learn any doctrine. He wanted to know where the gate was so he could avoid hell and enter heaven. And Hakuin replied in a way only a warrior could understand.

What did Hakuin do? He said, "Who are you?"
And the warrior replied, "I am a samurai."

It is a thing of much pride to be a samurai in Japan. It means being a perfect warrior, a man who will not hesitate a single moment to give his life. For him, life and death are just a game. He said, "I am a samurai, I am a leader of samurais. Even the emperor pays respect to me."

Hakuin laughed and said, " You, a samurai? You look like a beggar."

The samurai's pride was hurt, his ego hammered. He forgot what he had come for. He took out his sword and was just about to kill Hakuin. He forgot that he had come to this master to ask where is the gate of heaven, to ask where is the gate of hell.

Hakuin laughed and said, "This is the gate of hell. With this sword, this anger, this ego, here opens the gate." This is what a warrior can understand. Immediately he understood: This is the gate. He put his sword back in its sheath.

And Hakuin said, "Here opens the gate of heaven."

Hell and heaven are within you, both gates are within you. When you are behaving unconsciously there is the gate of hell; when you become alert and conscious, there is the gate of heaven.

What happened to this samurai? When he was just about to kill Hakuin, was he conscious? Was he conscious of what he was about to do? Was he conscious of what he had come for? All consciousness had disappeared. When the ego takes over, you cannot be alert. Ego is the drug, the intoxicant that makes you completely unconscious. You act but the act comes from the unconscious, not from your consciousness. And whenever any act comes from the unconscious, the door of hell is open. Whatsoever you do, if you are not aware of what you are doing the gate of hell opens.

Immediately the samurai became alert. Suddenly, when Hakuin said, "This is the gate, you have already opened it"-- the very situation must have created alertness. A single moment more and Hakuin's head would have been severed; a single moment more and it would have been separated from the body. And Hakuin said, "This is the gate of hell."

This is not a philosophical answer; no master answers in a philosophical way. Philosophy exists only for mediocre, unenlightened minds. The master responds but the response is not verbal, it is total. That this man may have killed him is not the point. "If you kill me and it makes you alert, it is worth it"--Hakuin played the game.

This must have happened to the warrior--stopped, sword in hand with Hakuin just before him--the eyes of Hakuin were laughing, the face was smiling, and the gate of heaven opened. He understood: the sword went back into its sheath. While putting the sword back into the sheath he must have been totally silent, peaceful. The anger had disappeared, the energy moving in anger had become silence.

If you suddenly awake in the middle of anger, you will feel a peace you have never felt before. Energy was moving and suddenly it stops--you will have silence, immediate silence. You will fall into your inner being and the fall will be so sudden, you will become aware.

It is not a slow fall, it is so sudden that you cannot remain unaware. You can remain unaware only with routine things, with gradual things; you move so slowly you can't feel movement. This was sudden movement-- from activity to no-activity, from thought to no-thought, from mind to no-mind. As the sword was going back into its sheath, the warrior realized. And Hakuin said, "Here open the doors of heaven."

Silence is the door. Inner peace is the door. Nonviolence is the door. Love and compassion are the doors.
Osho Zen
Transformation Tarot
36. The Gates of Hell

I could add a lot of words and make a great commentary for this post but the message is clear! Enjoy!
~Lori Marie