2023-07-07-GIl-Aspiration (5 of 5) Peaceful Aspiriation
6:15PM Jul 10, 2023
So for this fifth and last talk on aspirations that are supported or an explore an aspect of compassion, and manifestation of compassion, that I want to emphasize the possibility that aspiration can arise out of a peacefulness, out of peace. And that peace is a wonderful reference point for the motivations that are connected to being compassionate. It's not a few people, for whom, who confuse compassion, with distress, compassion, with their own discomfort, around being in the presence of suffering. And they confuse the motivation to be compassionate to act compassionately with the motivations that flow from that discomfort and that distress. And some of that has to do a lot with our attachments to self at all kinds of attachments we might have. And so even with even some of the most important kind of ways and things we can do to be compassionate and caring for others, we carry with us a, something which is not peaceful, something which is stressful, something which there's attachment and clinging as part of it, of force and assertiveness, a tension. And, and, and it's possible to do have the aspiration to desire the motivation to be compassionate, to be peaceful, easeful, to arise kind of an easy, light way. And where there's not a lot of self attachment, self concern that's entangled with that, where it's coming from, not from any sense of being distressed or being challenged, or being somehow uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. But rather, it comes from our capacity, to be attuned to be open, to be appreciative to be aware, in a broad, open way. And those three, aware, tuned and appreciative are three of the important aspects of compassion that we've talked about already in the series. And so all those lead to the possibility that have a certain degree of peace, certain degree of ease, and of non clinging, and to have compassion arise out of non clinging, has, it looked very different than maybe conventionally what people think compassion is supposed to look like. Sometimes people feel like, if there's some injustice in the world, we're supposed to be angry, we're supposed to be upset. And if we're not upset enough, we don't show that we care. But that upsetness, that anger, that may very well be a symptom of something that we're attached to somebody we're clinging to, some assertion of self that's not really necessary, as part of it. And the alternative to being distressed and angry, is not passivity, is not avoiding, but it allows for maybe, an equally or maybe even more powerful motivation to rise within us to, to, to change the injustice to fight it, in a sense, too, but he comes out of his part of the world of inner world of non clinging and, and peace, and the dharmic that the dharma kind of orientation around this is that is that there's, we want to, we want to trust the dharma within us we want to trust those natural processes, of healing of freedom of, of love and compassion, that can flow and move through us. Without this kind of clinging and self assertion is being part of it. And so I'm in a category where I call this peace, to trust peace, and to use peace as a reference point. To understand the motivations we have to be compassionate. It is the motivation to be compassionate as the actions of compassion, coming from a peaceful place, a settled place, coming from a place of calm or quiet, someplace that's kind of not is below the level of discourse. Thinking, where we're spinning stories and fears and fantasies and projections, and memories, and all kinds of things that this swirling around that are driving a certain kind of attached. attitude towards it all, that supports fear supports, anger supports distress. But if we can listen to that place below the discursive thought that place, it's more peaceful than most discursive thinking is reactive thinking, then we have access to something quite different. We can have this, this, the flow of life, you know, life knows what to bring forth. Life knows what movement towards homeostasis, to harmony to peace, for everyone concerned. And it's not a passivity. It's very important to understand this. But it's to make room for this deeper motivation, that sometimes can lead to tremendous courage. That doesn't look like Courage, perhaps, because it's not forceful. But it can be give birth to a lifetime of dedication to live a life, for the benefit of the world, to benefit of trying to find a way to alleviate more suffering in this world. But if we can do it from this place of peace, then it's sustainable. And then it doesn't give birth to least, maybe it's an ancient phenomena. But it has been only in modern times does it have a name, and that is sometimes called compassion, fatigue, of compassion, overwhelm. And, and it's kind of unfortunate that these two are connected fatigue and compassion. But it's when our so called compassionate actions in the world of goal come along with this complications of attachments of clinging, of self assertion, self definition, self victimization, that goes on when we act, and we don't know how to come from this peaceful place, but we come more from, you know, some other place where that we're much more vulnerable, to be impacted in negative ways and be exhausted. But to do so to use as a reference point, as we studied remindful of our aspirations and realize that all the different aspects of aspiration that that make it richer, the world of aspiration, you know, wonderful to have a reference point of peace, is it peaceful? Is it free of clinging, this aspiration? And one of the reasons why these are important questions, is that one of the directions, orientations for where to be compassionate, is in fact to ourselves. Of course, many of us will be attached and cling many of us will have our inner challenges, many of us will be will have fatigue and distress. It's not a crime to be this way, it's very important not to add layers of criticism of ourselves or shame even on top of that, split this peaceful place to be aware. And in using that, as a reference point, can help show us Oh, I'm not peaceful. And the compassion also can be directed here to myself to what's happening within me, can I hold this with the kind of peaceful presence, that maybe a friend would offer you sitting at a bench in a park, just being present and listening to you talking about your difficulties. And it's so meaningful that someone uses their in a nonreactive way, in an attentive way, peaceful way, not asserting themselves not fixing you, not treating you as someone who they need to help, but treating you with respect and, and serving you in a sense, with their presence and their attention and their attentive care. To be able to do that to oneself in a deep way. So So these different aspects of aspiration that I've talked about today, this last one is maybe maybe it's the most difficult, because it you know, this is what comes maybe with a deep spiritual growth, maybe a deep growth and the dharma is we speak up more and more attuned to the place a possibility of peace, of calm of ease. That can't always be that way, or be fully that way. But it becomes a reference point. fora
for seeing more clearly what is here. And that peace and that kind of peaceful way of being aware, can be seen to be a 360 degree awareness that includes ourselves and includes the whole world. And, and for aspiration to be that way, or the possibility of aspiration to be that way, is one of the reasons why I feel that as this deep aspiration, this deep intentionality, this deep motivation, to live for the welfare and happiness of the world, is one of the most beautiful things that we can have. Even if it's partial, even if it's, you know, haltingly, it just that this capacity is something we have, and that we can live from that, I think is beautiful, beautiful thing. So, aspiration. So, so we're going through these different aspects of compassion than the five that we did before we've done now so far is awareness, appreciation, awareness, attunement appreciation, and, and this aspiration. And the next time I'm here, at the seventh day, at this YouTube teaching, I'll do five days on action, the fifth part of it, compassion, and which is very important as well, but for how the action arise, when these other four are, have been kind of in the picture have been included and considered, then the action becomes much more important or valuable for everyone concerned, including oneself. So we'll do that. So I won't be here. Now again, for three weeks. I'm going down to Tassajara, the Zen monastery, in the mountains here south of here, in order to teach a seven, three week retreat, a kind of a Zen retreat, but kind of Zen Vipassana hybrid of sorts, with my friend, Zen teacher, Paul Heller. And, and, and then I'll be back up here at the IMC, or, you know, part of teaching on a Saturday, July 29. And I'm teaching a day long retreat. That's titled freedom and mindfulness of emotions, through IRC, the Insight retreat center. And I'll try to put the notice of it and the WHAT'S NEW AT THE IMCs website, under reflections from Gil but some of you might want to come to that online day long retreat. I think it's from nine to 430 in California time. And we have some wonderful teachers coming in the next couple of weeks. And I think right now we don't have a teacher for the third week I'm away. But we're still looking for someone and hopefully, that's easy enough and and we don't have to be creative what we do that third week. And and so thank you, and I'm certainly appreciating this chance to explore compassion this way with all of you these weeks that I'm here and I look forward to continue when they come back and I guess I'm back on the I'm not sure if it's the first day of August or the last day of July that that Monday. So thank you very much.