2023-08-01-Gil-Comapassionate Action (2 of 5) For the sake of Oneself
8:56PM Aug 4, 2023
So hello, on this Tuesday, second day four, series on compassionate action. And before I start, I want to mention that I also noticed that link to this YouTube channel in some of the places on IMC is inaccurate. And I'll see what we can do to, to fix it today. And, but if you go to the homepage for IMCs YouTube channel, there's a square there for what's being broadcast live. So that's one, one on one way to get to it. And hopefully, by tomorrow, links there will be repaired.
So here on the issue of compassionate action, yesterday's talk was about was focusing on compassionate action for the sake of others. And that is commonly how compassion is understood, that we're caring for others. But equally important is that our compassion for others should also include a care for ourselves, to have action to help and support others, for my own sake, as well. That as much as Buddha's in my talk about not-self, and not living from selfishness and self centeredness, there is an emphasis on really being responsible or caring, monitoring carefully, this inner life of our own, and to care for it that this too is important to have compassion for this too is important to bring care and friendliness to. And in terms of compassionate action in the world, being having compassion for others and acting on that compassion. We should, so the focus might be on doing things for others. But as we do it, we should also do it for our own sake. And that means two things. One thing it means is, don't abandon yourself as you do it. Don't give yourself away, don't sacrifice, don't easily sacrifice your own well being and welfare for the sake of supporting and helping other people. It's not necessary. There are some times when we become uncomfortable, sometimes our comfort level of sacrifice for the well being of others. Sometimes we do sacrifice certain things for others. But, but don't sacrifice, don't abandon yourself, don't give up on staying connected to the practice for yourself, monitoring yourself, knowing when you get attached. And when you are getting stressed when you get contracted. When you get afraid, when you get overly anxious in what you're doing and override the compassion by despair, or just your dismay or a sense of obligation and, and in fear of consequences if you don't do the action. So the principle that to have compassionate action in the world, in a way that also is for your own sake, so that you benefit from it. So that it's a way of caring for yourself as simultaneous Slee, as it is caring for others. This caring for others and caring for oneself does not need to be two separate things. And many times the idea of compassion is considered to be almost synonymous with being altruistic. And, and that's often synonymous with a kind of giving up from oneself abandoning oneself. And sometimes Buddhist teachers will even say that, as I said yesterday, that one of the ways of one of the purposes of being compassionate is for your own happiness and well being by giving up on your selfishness or self centeredness. But that does not mean that you give up on yourself in some deeper way. It means that you don't get attached to self you don't cling to yourself, you don't try to lock on to some definition of who we are, who we aren't, but are to do the compassionate action only for ourselves in order to make ourselves feel better If we don't really care so much about other people, but but rather, as we care about others, we try to act in ways that support them. And we're doing it in a way, that we're not compromising ourselves not adding stress, we're not abandoning ourselves, we're not allowing ourselves to lose touch with our own inner well being our own beauty or our inner practice our place of peace, calm. And the reason one of the reasons not to lose touch with that, and stay connected and do it for your own sake, is so the compassionate actions that we do in the world are not stressful for us. So there's not, we don't succumb to compassion, fatigue, or overwhelm, so that we don't wound ourselves or hurt ourselves, by giving ourselves over to others, in a way where we're open and receptive to feel the suffering of the world. But we're not available, we don't know how to experience that suffering, in a way that cares for ourselves as well. And so the suffering of the world I can, you know, very difficult for a heart that can break our hearts, it can shatter, it can wound us in certain ways. But if we know how to maintain a place of openness and non clinging, openness and receptivity that things are received, what they pass right through, we don't hold on to anything or resist anything, then the compassionate care and contact of suffering and others doesn't have to be challenging for us. In fact, so then we can be compassionate for a long time, we don't get fatigued, we don't get overwhelmed by it. And more important than that, is that the quality of compassion, the quality of our relationship to other people, is much higher. If people feel that we're at ease, feel that we're peaceful, feel that we are comfortable in our own being, if we're at this uncomfortable, and anxious and dismayed, angry or upset in some way, and that's the filter through which compassionate action operates in the world, people were caring for will feel that. And maybe, maybe they maybe it's not exactly conscious on their part. But they can feel that something's off, it's kind of like by osmosis, or the medium is the message. So if compassion is offered in the medium of anxiety, if compassion is offered in the immediate in the medium of upset, if it's offered through the medium of the kind of selfish self concern, or vote, you know, all kinds of, then that's something that that that medium in which is done that actually skews and, and shapes the kind of action we do, and the impact that action has on others. It's very different. If people feel a scare, with spaciousness with kindness, it's open, with non anxiety, non upset non dismay, they feel oh, now I'm with a person who has the ability to be a quantumness and present in a full way. And I don't feel like I have to take care of them or I don't feel like I have to now be nourished, be fed by anxiety, be fed by upset, be fed by self preoccupation, or whatever it might be. So the quality of the compassion, I think, is much more significant, more valuable, when we act compassionately, for our own sake as well. And we have a sense that for our own sake, there's something really here to care for. There's something valuable here within ourselves, some valuable center valuable way of being valuable sense of inner beauty or inner peace or inner wisdom inner goodness. And, and how do we discover that one of those ways is many ways but one of the ways is to meditate. And, and have this inner focus, where we really start tracking and monitoring and working with and discovering, finding deeply what's inside and settled the conflict, inner conflict settle the inner resentments and hurts and fears to really kind of drop down and discover something marvelous within, so that when we from this kind of wonderful place of ease and peace We can come forward forward into the world. So meditation is one way. The other way is through compassionate action for the sake of others, that if we do that in a healthy way, that reinforces this side, this healthy side of ourselves that mirrors it, that's that kind of helps us to tap into it, if we're monitoring ourselves and, and know that we're coming from this place. And that ultimately, there's this wonderful cycle mutuality cycle of, of, of how caring for others, we care for ourselves. And in this way of caring for ourselves, we end up caring for others as well. And self and others in this way, are not separate. It's not like it should be one or the other. They are mutually supportive, until such a point that the compassionate care
you know, we feel this marvelous way, that there's no difference between self and other for the purposes of our care, some some kind of barrier, or some kind of division that many people live in, begins to soften. And not that we merge with other people. But that we become kind of, there's a kind of a vast sense of openness, that within which caring for others and caring for the self, there's no difference. Just caring for whatever our perceptions are attention, lands. So caring for oneself. So compassion, action for one's own sake, as the as the next kind of characteristics of compassionate action. Yesterday, the Compassionate action for the sake of others, and not, not not that's always there for compassionate action. And now, including, as we do care for others, we also want to care for ourselves, not abandon ourselves, not give ourselves away. So that there's more here in ourselves, to be able to offer others abandon oneself, there's actually less that we can give. So thank you. And if you're interested in experimenting with this, you might see you in situations where you are doing something nice for others, and seeing how you can do it in a way that feels satisfying for yourself. That feels like it's this is a good thing to do a good way to be in the world. And maybe you do that in small, small ways. Maybe that's where the best place to experiment and, and and, and then learn from there to the more difficult places. So thank you very much.