2023-Compassionate Action (4 of 5) For the Sake of the Whole World
8:56PM Aug 4, 2023
Nope, now it worked.
So, hello, and welcome to this fourth time talk about compassionate action. And it's maybe worth repeating that this talks about compassionate action, are building on a whole series of talks from before, that focused on the role of developing awareness as a foundation for compassion and action, developing attunement with others and ourselves as a foundation for compassion, cultivating appreciation of others a deep respect, also as a foundation for compassionate action, to cultivate the appropriate aspiration, a wish, as part of compassionate action. And with all that, we're ready for, to act compassionately. And so we don't want to be impulsive in the compassionate action or unconsidered or, or necessarily think just because we identify something like compassion or desire to help people or to stop suffering, that it's wisely considered to consider wisely is an important part of the Buddhist practice, to consider that profoundly to have a profound consideration, which means to stop and feel and have access to some sense of a profound source within take the time, what is the depths of your being, say? Or how does that inform you? Or how does that help you understand the situation. And I like this expression, depth of your being. Some people might say, say, whatever is heartfelt, but even the heart might not be the, the fullest or the wisest place from which to act in the world. But to really come from some take time to come from someplace deep within. And, and this the deepest place may be, is a place where we don't have divisions. For our care, we don't have we're not partial, we don't have distinctions between those people, deserving our care and compassion and those who are don't the deepest place inside as quieted this divisive mind that many of us can live in where it's partial, it's preferential, it's, it's, some people are excluded from our care, because we don't think they deserve it or something. But then the depth of our being, it's possible to care, to be concerned with the welfare of everyone. And, and the Buddha refers to this as being concerned for the welfare of the whole world. He talks about being concerned for the welfare of oneself, concerned for the welfare of others, concerned for the welfare of self and others, and which is what we've talked about the first three days this week. And then he, in addition to that talked about being concerned for the welfare of the whole world. And, and, you know, certainly the whole world is a big task to consider the welfare of everyone, but to let the awareness to the care that compassion that comes compassionate concern, have no divisions have no us versus them, who's justifies our compassion? Who doesn't? That's what I understand the whole world means there's no separation. So certainly, we probably care for the people close to us, because we're there close to us. We see them, we know them. We don't have to go after now and donate to every nonprofit that had doing good world throughout the whole world. But there's no division, no separation of our care. And this is phenomenally important that we no one's cast away from our hearts, that when we engage in this complicated life, complicated interpersonal life, that we're concerned about the what's best for everyone concerned. And this was a very important approach that I took when I was the chair of an ethics committee. And I had to deal with lots of conflict and sometimes with transgressions and harms that were done between people. And and I would talk to everyone carefully Lay and tell them that my my concern was a search for what's for the welfare and for the good of everyone concerned, it was a little bit hard for some people to appreciate when they felt that other people deserve the punishment or deserved something terrible. And, and, and certainly some kind of serious consequences sometimes are needed. But to understand what those consequent how those consequences when consequences work for the welfare of everyone for the good of everyone. So it isn't just punitive. And that's the end of it. It's yes, there has to be consequences, there have to be accountability, there has to be, something has to change. But here's why it's helpful for you, here's why it's good for you, here's why you need to do this, it gives you an opportunity to grow, to change to come to terms, all kinds of things. And genuinely, I found that everyone involved in these conflicts of resolutions that I was involved in, came to appreciate that, that we're looking for the greater good for everyone. And didn't mean that we compromise, whoever was compromising the good for someone who needed needed more. Something, it was really looking for the for the How to benefit everyone, where it's not a win lose situation. And, and to do this, it takes a lot more attention left more reflection and thinking and getting a sense of the whole picture and everyone involved. And the quick decision that this is wrong, and you're bad, and we're cutting you out, or we're somehow casting you from a heart or, or treating you kind of in a punitive way are something that does not take into account the the the humanity of everyone involved the fullness of their heart, their minds, their psychology, and you know what the impact of everything will be, but just take time to be in conversation with people find out what's going on for them, and what really in a deep way is their need. And for so they can really grow and develop and become better people. That was my task is when I dealt with these ethics challenges. And I think people came to appreciate it a lot. And even people who were hurt or doors or who felt like they were wronged in the conflict they were in, I think they came out as better people. Because they understood that, that they were being taken care of well, their situation was cared for and, and, and proper resolution was made, but that the welfare of everyone involved was taken into account. And sometimes everyone is not necessarily the parties and only the parties in a conflict, but also involves the people around it to know about it that are indirectly involved or connected to the parties involved. So why do we care for everyone involved? So I learned a lot about this, and doing these complex, you know, mediations and issues that I for many years I was doing. But but also I think it's a natural byproduct of a liberated heart, a mind that is liberated from the divisiveness liberated from attachment to it has to be one way or attachment to oneself or attachment to one's family or one's tribe or whatever it might be. And and so when we're involved in compassionate action in the world to be considered about it is Who Who benefits from this? And is there anybody who is harmed by this? Is anybody ever leaving someone out of the picture? Are we focusing too much on maybe the person who is suffering the most and, and forgetting there's more people involved in the ecology in the, in the community of that's related to all this? And how is it that we can take into account the whole world everyone involved, and not yourself, not just the other and some very deep personal way, but for a whole community. And that community could be a family, it could be a place of work, it could be a sangha, spiritual community we're in it could be a neighborhood, it could be, you know, you know, where that hole is, is a you know, it varies from time to time. But I see it in the world of politics, that the divisions are so strong that so many times the other people are cast from our hearts. And we don't ask you know, the question of what what would be best here for We won. How do we find a way? And the difficult thing about considering what's the welfare for everyone, no matter how it is, it actually takes time, the conflict resolution work that I did
was not a time efficient process, it actually took a lot of conversations. And I think not a few people who tried to be involved in similar conflict resolutions, tried to do shortcuts. And I saw that whenever short cuts were done, often the conflict resolution didn't work out very well. And so it might take a long time to find what's best for everyone involved. But the other thing I learned during doing this, and while it might take a lot of time to do so that it actually saved a lot of time in the future, when these conflict resolution when hurts when problems between people, when when compassion is not all encompassing in its scope. So many times, the amount of repair work that had to be done later, was much greater than all the inefficient time taken to to resolve it well the first time. So it might seem inefficient and seem frustrating to stop and consider the welfare of all and do the consideration be in the conversations to understand the situation better to be do their creative thinking to kind of consider what how to do this. So it benefits everyone, and but down, but it makes it much more efficient or easier or more time saving in the future as we go along. And, and so I don't know exactly what's coming to mind right now is a very simple example, this doesn't involve, you know, conflict resolution, it could be that someone is ill, and it's nice to bring them dinner or some food. And it would seem like you're just bringing them food is a good thing. But what's the big for the bigger picture, the welfare of all, will maybe make enough food for their caretakers. Maybe there's people paid caretakers who are caring for them, who are often neglected, often not seen, often ignored from, you know, in the close for, you know, relationships that, you know, we we have, but maybe you know, make enough for them as well. Maybe for their family, maybe there's more people and there might not be so much extra work to make a bigger meal that can be then shared more widely. Buy. And that's a little bit more work to make more, might actually create a much better world, that who knows what benefits come into the future that are unseen. And so just a small example. But there's many examples of this. And so compassionate action, not a rush to be compassionate, to act compassionately, not to narrow the focus to only the person who's suffering or challenged, but how to kind of take a deep breath and relax and open to the situation more fully take the time and reflect, you know, how was I? What's really what really brings welfare for this person? What do they really need? How is it? How do I do this for my own sakes? So I'm nourished and becoming better person? How do we do this so that it takes into account the relationship between us, self and others? And how do we do this, that it really takes into account a wider scope of in other community, the whole world, if you will. And if you protest that this is too much work, and like to emphasize again, that I think that in the bigger picture, it makes life much easier. And that's how it in a way. It says the welfare for all all concerned including oneself because of how we benefit in return. So in that process, I hope that compassionate action helps you become happier, more more contented, more nourished, more inspired in a wonderful way may it lead to your happiness and freedom. So thank you, and we will continue this topic of compassionate action one more day tomorrow. And and I look forward to it. Thank you