So the topic of this week is the seven factors of compassion. And how the seven factors of follow in the wake of compassion, that we live in a compassionate way. And we find that in the wake of that are together with that there comes a form of awareness, mindfulness, there comes a quality of investigation that we do kind of distinguish. And for compassion, we distinguish between suffering, and the absence of suffering. And all the different ways that we call distress or feeling emotionally challenged, or things are difficult. That compassion is based on the recognition of suffering, whether it's mild or big. It's a recognition. And that recognition involves a distinction between the suffering and the possibility of the absence of suffering. And so with this call with compassionate care, there becomes a sense of awareness or attention to what's happening. Because compassion, it's, you know, is has an object or has a way of living or a way of attending to the world. And then, and part of that attending is to make of is the compassionate nature of compassion is to see a distinction between suffering and the absence of it. And this is the fundamental distinction that Buddhism is about, it lives in, grows and develops and flowers out of making this distinction. Because with this distinction, it's possible to move towards greater greater freedom and the greater absence of suffering, freedom from suffering. And so it's there is a deeper and a more more sensitive attention to suffering when we do this practice. And some of the coarser suffering might go away, but becomes a more acute sensitivity to smaller and smaller, or deeper and deeper ways. And that's not a mistake, that's the way of doing housecleaning to kind of clean the house and, and, and clean things up. And so in the sense with that distinction, and so all the Buddhism can be seen as arising out of the impetus to compassion, it's so central to the whole enterprise of Buddhism, the whole religion of Buddhism. And sometimes that compassion takes the form of kindness and friendliness, or they're, they're kind of part of a mixture of care. And so, sometimes it's not exactly compassion that's in the forefront, but kindness to friendliness, a sense of care for people, for ourselves as this unfolds, then there's a, we see the distinction between suffering in the absence of it, then comes effort becomes the desire to do something to make a change. So, from this guided meditation, we did the change there that was emphasized, was that becoming commonly aware, so we can suffer, and we can just kind of suffer, unapologetically, just, you know, just be living in the suffering. Really kind of captivated by our suffering, fully inhabiting it. Or we could, in a sense, step away from it. And be aware of it calmly. It involves a little bit of dissident vacation with a suffering, like it's my suffering, and I'm suffering, but to step away and say, Oh, they're suffering here. And to calmly be aware, and then that calm awareness, to see it more clearly. And one of the things we see, we see that they're suffering, and there's something which is not suffering so much, that calm awareness. That's an important distinction. And with that distinction, we then were able to choose more often, that which is not suffering, the calm awareness is not getting rid of the suffering. It's not it's still there. It's not fixing it. It's not condemning is not ignoring it. But it was meeting it from a place where we're not identified with it, or we're not kind of glued to it. And this is a powerful thing of compassion is this ability to see see clearly and calmly. If the compassion is not calm, it might not really be compassion, and might be distressed that we're feeling. So the importance of finding that calm place is not easy to do. But it's worthwhile to do. And it's possible to do. And maybe the for some of us, the easiest place might be in the mindfulness itself in the Awareness itself. So the mindfulness factor of compassion, with a mindfulness factor, it's a factor of compassion, we see these distinction better between suffering and the absence of it, we see a kind of a distinction there. And just with that way, as we start seeing this distinction, in the possibility of being without suffering, then comes the effort, the effort factor of compassion, the the engagement, the activity, of moving towards, or coming close to or giving yourself giving yourself over to that place, where there is less suffering, to do that, which decreases the suffering. And for if we kind of build on what's happening already, place of less suffering, is not getting rid of the suffering, but as a heightened at impact capacity for attention. awareness can kind of blossom, become stronger, while the suffering is there. And maybe the suffering doesn't get any better. But mindfulness awareness gets stronger, which creates a very different context. As awareness gets stronger, then maybe we can identify or live more in the awareness that we live in this suffering. So it's a very significant thing to say that the suffering doesn't have to go away, we're, it's being it's being replaced at a sensor, the ecology of the mind to heart is being changed, but we're bringing in something that's stronger or larger, more significant, to be next to it, or be part of it, or be around it. And that's the capacity to be aware to wake up to the middle of it. And, and, and to be able to shift the paradigm, from needing to get rid of suffering, to becoming bigger than the suffering, or become resting in a place where it's peaceful, to look on the suffering, that's a radical thing to do. That's living this, this investigation factor, or the distinction factor of compassion, and then the natural effort to engage to activity to keep practicing to do something about it. So I yesterday use the example of a little girl who's got hurt on the playground with a scraped knee. And there's compassion in the adult who's going to care for her. And of course, the adult puts effort into care for the child brings the bandaid brings the water to clean the wound, and does it very carefully in the engagement is one of care and love. But it is engagement, that is effort being put in. But that effort doesn't feel like work. That compassion is as a motivating force, for a relaxed, easy, maybe in a certain kind of way. non self centered effort, and effort that's here to make things better. And part of the difficulty people have with the concept of effort is some people make effort, which has suffering embedded in it. They're straining, they're pushing, they're expecting, they're anxious, they're disappointed. They're hesitant, they're, you know, feel hopeless in the effort. What is it so then we come back to this whole compassion? Well, there's the suffering, to be mindful, suffering is in the effort itself. And part of the reason to make effort is to discover how the effort is off. And then to see that distinction. And then in the seeing of it, beginning kind of finding away engaging in a process, the FBI engaging the effort to find effort, that is calm, find effort that is engaged, but not agitated. Find effort, which is engaged in doing what needs to be done, but has no strain in it. That's caring that's loving that's present.
So the suggestion is that you This is natural in the wake of compassion, in the wake of caring, and feeling a sense of care for something, in the wake of kindness, feeling kindness for something, in the wake of love, feeling love for something that there is starting to make distinctions, the investigation factor, and from that comes a certain kind of effort. So and there the big efforts would be to go out and save the world to go out and really trying to help someone who's suffering, that's a beautiful thing to do, and important thing to do. But maybe as an as a way of kind of really discovering the compassion informed effort. That includes compassion for oneself compassion for the very effort we make. Maybe we today, we should not be in a hurry to be compassionate for the world. But have the compassion really be towards yourself to the to these factors, to indicate even to yourself, but to the particular ways in which your mind hearts are operating in the way that you're aware? Are you aware in a way that stressful or demanding or expectant? Or can you be aware in a calm way? Are you making distinctions? Are you seeing the challenges you have? But building on that challenges? Or you're judging yourself and being upset with things? Or can you find a way to see that making simple distinctions between suffering and the absence of it really is a path to freedom. And then as you engage in this practice, and practice with all this the effort part, have compassion or care for that, can you recognize their where their strain and suffering to do this very personal work sets the stage for bringing a healthy form of compassion into the world and for others? So we're laying down the foundation here. So thank you, and, and I'll be here for the week at the IRC. So I'm happy to be here. And as I said, yesterday, I think I look forward to the chance to show you the meditation hall on maybe the last day here and we can zoom out a little bit and scan it for you to see what's what's here. So thank you