2023-07-04-Gil-Aspiration (2 of 5) Understaning and Uprooting
6:15PM Jul 10, 2023
So for this second talk on the aspiration that comes along with compassion, the desire to, for people not to suffer people not to struggle and be in danger and be challenged in unnecessary and difficult ways. It's such a wonderful idea to wonderful occurrence to have this wish, this aspiration and aspiration where we're not self preoccupied. We are available to care for other people, to have care for them to have concern for them to have wishes for them, that their welfare is at least as important as our own. And may it be that they are happy may be that they don't suffer. And so this is instinct, this movement towards compassion involves a wish or a desire. And that precedes acting. And the action part, that's the whole topic, we'll do it another time, for a whole week. But before the action, there's the wish, the aspiration, the care, the and there are times when we have that wish, but it's not for us to do anything. We, you learn about someone far away, we read about someone in the news. And we have compassion, we wish them well, we want them. And we hope that they said we would like the suffering to go away, we aspire for it. But maybe it's not our place to do something about it, it's not our opportunity. But there are times when we have the opportunity to act and to do something. And there also this idea of acting and, and doing things for the welfare of others, is also a wonderful antidote to self preoccupation. And which is off can often be said the word of their operating ideas, self preoccupation, self occupations really caught up in, in oneself, and spinning around and self concern itself, with combinations and criticisms and desires and all that, that there's so much tension there, that just generates more and more of the same. And to be able to step out of that current of self preoccupation. One of the ways is to care for others, to be available to be aware of others to be attuned to others, to appreciate others, and to feel empathy and, and connection to their struggles and their suffering. And, and, and then to aspire that they're suffering, somehow they don't suffer, they don't suffer as much. So sometimes with the kind of a headlong, kind of throwing yourself into compassion, doing it from a sense of duty, or we should, the aspiration can be somewhat simplistic or can be limited. And the most common way to can be is to feel that I'm responsible. And I have to help end that suffering helping to stop and, and the only thing that counts is somehow stopping it. So and sometimes we can do something for someone say that someone is, you know, is chronically hungry. And so it might be important to feed them. And I don't want to say it's, you know, I don't want to diminish the value of feeding people. But if all we do is to feed someone, then the condition situation by which they're always hungry, is always going to be present. And that hasn't been addressed. And so in some ways, we kind of perpetuate the system that conditions the psychology or whatever's going on. That is perpetuating their challenge. The compassion that simply doesn't want to stop that particular will be see directly in front of us, but understands that it's something deeper is going on here. There are wider conditions, societal conditions, there are personal conditions are psychological things going on. And to really help someone, we want to be able to go underneath and see more deeply what is really going on here. And what is it to help someone to help themselves what is it to help someone so that the conditions are there, that they don't keep falling back into the same difficulty over and over again. And so, this is to understand this is to Who to undo? This is to uproot. And what Buddhism specializes in, is doing this psychologically looking deep within ourselves. There's definitely a time in place, it's very important to understand the wider conditions of the persons in the social conditions, found the conditions, societal conditions, and have some way important way to address those as well. So that the perpetuation of people's challenges are not just kind of repeated because of how society operates. But the but the specialty in Buddhism and here and meditation is also to become aware of more deeply in oneself. And then because we understand ourselves so well, maybe we can, understanding other people as well, to understand what is the underlying psychological causes for the tension, people carry the stress as they hold on to the overwhelm that they have, the emotional pain they're experiencing. And more often than not, there's something that something deeper is operating some deeper fear, some deeper attachments and deeper conceit, ideas of self, some deeper desires that maybe sometimes are not healthy desires to have. And so to simply address the suffering, without looking at the underlying conditions, means that underlying conditions are there and present to, to show up again and again and again. And that a few people are confused by how, yes, the suffering has ended. But then it revisits them the next day, there are people who have regularly move away from jobs away from people, because they find the situations difficult. Some people move away from Buddhist meditation centers, Buddhist practice, and to go find something else. And for a few more few to be a little while, the new thing, whatever they find the job, the person's the practice, their religion is exciting and wonderful, has a lot of promise. But sooner Allah enough, they run into the same problems, because they brought it with them. The underlying attachments, the fear, the way they're close, the where they're avoiding, begins to show itself and then becomes difficult. And sometimes that difficulty, the situation outside is blamed that a situation outside is supposed to fix it for them. And if it doesn't, we're gonna go somewhere else. And so the idea of, of helping people, supporting people to begin understanding underneath more deeply, what are the underlying causes, underlying psychological conditions for the suffering they have. And that, of course, helping people to do that it should be is a delicate thing to do. We don't want to be people's, you know, therapists, we don't want to be kind of assuming we understand what's really going on for them. But there is a ways of being present for people and listening and being in conversation. So that we kind of, we kind of discover what's going on in a deeper way with them as a way of helping them understand asking simple questions or being just being a very good listener and active listener and listening and reflecting back what you hear or, or commenting briefly about it, just so they know, you've heard it. And some people when they know they've been heard, understood, open up more and more. And, and so we're not in maybe addressing the surface suffering, but we're helping to kind of begin to uncover the deeper suffering that's there. So this uncovering, this uprooting this undoing this understanding of something deeper. And, and one of the things that active listening does and being present for people, is that we offer to others what we can offer to ourselves in meditation, that is a listening that begins going deeper than discursive thought that what we actually talk about and say, might be the tip of an iceberg of something really deeper that's going on. And so if someone's talking about some challenge they have in their life, and, and he's simply saying, sounds like that's really hard. That no point to do something deeper. And there's opportunity then for people to have that. Yeah, it is hard, I'm afraid or I'm troubled or I'm discouraged. And then that is beginning to touch something that's deeper. And sometimes I've seen over and over again, that we don't necessarily have to help people and solve problems for people, but sometimes just helps people to be seen and to be known in this deeper way.
So if we fix people's surface suffering and problems, then they don't get seen. If we just do this and that and this, and then you'll be fine. And now or come with me, and we'll just go off and have a, you know, you know, an exciting time at the movies or something and it's more of a distraction than trying to deal with the suffering, there might be relief, but there's not released there's not freedom. And these deeper level of understanding of, of uncovering is a and b will be seen, understood, recognized, listened to in this deeper way. That itself is the medicine, that itself is a phenomenal support for softening, lessening, overcoming the suffering people have. So this, you know, the aspiration to understand to uncover, to support people to, to undo or uproot, what's going on much more deeper. That's a movement of that's an aspiration of, of compassion, that maybe has more lasting value than simply in some surface way, alleviating the suffering that someone has, especially if alleviating it just means it's temporary, and they'll come back the next day, it'll come back over and over again, until something deeper happens. So, not a few people, we I think, in this world, have this recurrent theme of particular kind of distress, anxiety, frustration, anger, that keeps reoccurring. And so if we meet them with our compassion may be used to hold whatever the surface is, with a certain kind of equanimity acceptance, and non reactivity, and listen deeply support them. So that see what else is going on here, what's going on more deeply. So the aspiration, the Compassionate aspiration is concerned, not just with the surface suffering, but the deeper causes and conditions so that we're not just feeding people. We're helping people to grow their own food, you know, them as a metaphor. So thank you. And thank you for being here on the Fourth of July. I wish you all here in the United States. A relaxing and happy and stress free day. And I'm gonna go home now and go out with a hike in the mountains with my wife for this morning. Which seems like the perfect thing for me to do. So thank you