2023-03-22-Gil-Aspects of Compassion (3 of 5) Appreciation
7:14PM Mar 23, 2023
This will be the third talk on the elements, the aspects of compassion. One way of thinking about this, They're the building blocks for compassion. Compassion is such a wonderful, ideal and wonderful attitude to have this. And it's championed in many ways. But it's often presented, I think that just you're supposed to be compassionate, or you want to be compassionate, or as if you could just cut a mustard up and just do it from, you know, you know, on a moment's notice, but I think more realistically, is that there's a foundation put in place for healthy compassion, for compassion, that doesn't slide into distress, or slide into a kind of losing ourselves in other people. Excessive preoccupation with others, losing touch with ourselves. And, and so putting in the foundation, having the building blocks, and on Monday, I talked about having awareness, not just being aware, but having a sense of autonomy, in that awareness, a sense of stability and strength in the awareness. So that the awareness is almost something that is not entangled, or caught, and what we're aware of that kind of healthy, very healthy and sane, kind of distance or openness or bigness, we're awareness is bigger than anything that we are aware of, or awareness is a step back and can gaze kindly upon what's their sense of autonomy in the awareness. That sense of autonomy, then, is something that we can, that comes into kind of a fullness as we get in get put these elements into place for compassion. So finally, when compassion is mature, there's a clear sense of autonomy or independence or, or freedom, in the compassion itself. So yesterday, it was attunement, one of the meanings of a tune Minister come into harmony with something. So rather than headlong rush into having compassion, caring for someone, helping them, fixing them doing something, is taking the time with that sense of autonomy, to find what's the harmonious way of being here, what's the way to be attuned or resonant with someone that's appropriate for both of us together. And, and that effort to find that, and, you know, it means we're exercising a certain degree of autonomy, we're not lost in the experience, or lost in our preoccupation or whether we're kind of like standing there totally, you know, upright and, and, and stable. And then finding where is the residents were, how do I be here in appropriate way to not identify with a person's suffering or become it, but rather, how do I be attuned to it, to recognize it, to accompany it to, to be present in a way that's helpful. And then the next step in this, these five elements of compassion is appreciation. And an appreciation carries a lot more value. If we're autonomous, we're our own person, kind of, who then can meet someone with appreciation. If we kind of sink or less than a full person, or if we kind of feel like we have to kind of take care of someone or join them in their misery or what's going on, then they might feel like there's some companionship and some people want to be have people kind of proving that they, you know, you know, that they're committed to some kind of way, caring for them. But, but there's less there to offer. But if we can be kind of upright and autonomous, then we can really come with certain kind of a healthy strength, healthy presence, where we're radiating more so that our appreciation and respect for others as a fuller field, a fuller kind of there to be recognized. And and so appreciate Asian is a lot to do with valuing someone else, valuing who they are. It also means appreciating the wholeness of a person, and not getting stuck on particular things they've done particularly things they said particular quirks they have, that you might like or not like. But to step back and appreciate this as a human being who has been born, who's been a baby who's gone through the tremendous different kinds of life experiences growing up, some very challenging some maybe wonderful. This is a person who's having had to navigate so many things in this life and the complicated life we all have, and challenging lives. And, and here's a person who's kind of, you know, taken a lot of knocks in this life and had a lot of challenges, perhaps, or this is a person who is finding their way. And this is a person to grant them their autonomy. There's a respect that's an appreciation is one that especially an important thing, because of respecting their autonomy, their ability to make choices for themselves, their ability to be a dignified, valued person, who has, whose opinions matter who's, whose experience matters, whose life matters, but not to interfere not to cut out come with compassion, and try to tell them what to do and what you have to do and all these things. And so to, to appreciate others. And part of the appreciation factor where that can come from, is it begins not necessarily with gazing upon the other person thinks about the person thinking about what to appreciate, but rather, it begins with in ourselves to get settled, in the place of awareness settled that our bodies settled in the present moment. So that the reactive mind the judging mind, the opinionated mind, the scared mind, that the the that involved with, you know, lack of offers disrespect or disapprove creation, or worse, you know, prejudice and bias and, or resentment or, or envy or blame, or all kinds of things that the mind does. One of the functions of meditation and mindfulness is to settle all that, so that we can live in the world from a different place. And that different place is a place where we appreciate how special it is. To be grounded, centered, calm, we appreciate being aware. It's a miracle. To be aware, it's a miracle, to be mindful. And, and to be better to be busy in life, we're going around doing all the things we do, we don't realize how to admit what a miracle it is. And so to come to a place where we simply appreciate being aware, it's such a miracle, then the gaze of appreciation, is one that appreciates, regardless of what it sees. So it's not really so dependent on the other person being just bright and just perfect and doing everything the way you want the person to do. The person can even do things which may be are unethical. And not to their appreciation is not an approval of that, allowing them, letting them get away with it. But it's not being limited to that and seeing the whole person. I've known people who didn't live an unethical life. And it all changed for them the thing that transformed them, when he met with someone who didn't see them through the lens of what they had done, but saw them as a whole person, just appreciate who they were. And to be seen that way by someone else. They kind of wow. That it kind of opened them to more fullness of who they are, what they can be. That was powerful for them and they kind of stepped into this full of person who they were and their unethical behavior stopped. kind of miracle story may be but it's powerful to have this kind of be gazed on and be seen this whole way with appreciation, rather than anything that we're we're limiting people to a particular kind of small part of who they are.
And so to have compassion, without appreciation might not be compassion, to have a compassion without appreciation and respect for the person. I don't think that the compassionate action we do will be so clean or so effective, or touch something so deep, it might be fixing or helping, or it might be enabling even something that they shouldn't be enabled to do. There's something about engaging someone with compassionate care where they in the care, they feel the appreciation respect. They feel like we're being it, you're being treated as a dignified, autonomous person who can make your own decisions. And you're there to, again, to be their friend or accompany them to be available, to offer what support might be needed. But you're not asserting ourselves, we're not proving ourselves we're not feeling sorry for someone or have pity for someone. They appreciation is there, the deep respect. I like to believe that this dharma practice is a practice that brings forth a lot of respect for ourselves, for the world for others. And to live with mindfulness is to live with respect, the kind of respect that we're always ready to bow to every everyone if they step out of respect the bow, maybe even a little reverence about deep appreciation, sometimes bows of gratitude, sometimes bows of delight and joy, something like that, that we're always ready to do, we might not actually bow, but the heart is always ready for that. That kind of appreciation, that kind of respect, even of our enemies, to bow least bow in our hearts to always be ready. This is a tall order, but some modicum of this awareness. Attunement and then appreciation is really the really this building block for us then to eventually get to compassion. So so why don't you go around the day to day, I think it would be fantastic if you would explore this is concept of appreciation and or respect for others, how often do you have appreciation for the people you pass on the street or in the stores or at work or in neighborhoods? Is that part of your your social orientation is to appreciate or respect that people who come around you? Or is that something you have to remind yourself to have appreciation? What's it like for you to bring forth can you bring forth an appreciation and respect that's less of doing and more and allowing have some deep, almost innate capacity for respect and appreciation? When disrespect the non appreciation have fallen away. So a few wish to explore that during the day and Till we meet again. And that will maybe be a foundation for tomorrow where we talk about aspiration as part of an element of compassion. Thank you