2023-08-02-Compassionate Action (3 of 5) For the Sake of Self and Others
8:56PM Aug 4, 2023
happy to be here with you and to continue here on Wednesday with the topic of the day, which the week, which is action, compassionate, compassionate action, and trying to offer some different perspectives on what we can do, motivated by compassion. And so Monday was compassionate action for the sake of others. Yesterday was compassionate action for the sake of oneself, not distinct or separate from others, but in addition. So, the Compassion Action, we're both doing it for our owns for the sake and for sake of others, for the sake of others and for ourselves. So there's a mutuality, of fullness of care in all directions. And the suggestion is that, that compassion for others, caring for others, is richer, more valuable, when we know how to do proper care, compassionate care for ourselves, we have more care where more love to give others when there's a kind of love here for ourselves. So today, I want to do the third form of action or way of acting, and that is action that's for the sake of both self and others. And this is a category that the Buddha often uses. That in addition to kind of intentions for the welfare of oneself of others, he also talks about the intention for the welfare of both self and others. And, and, and I understand this, both set both self and other as being the Wii that exists between us, the kind of the nature and quality of the relation relatedness the relationship that exists between us, and that's something that's distinct enough from the other person from ourselves. It's kind of the dynamic, the chemistry, the the interaction, the quality of the interaction between two people. And and so when we do compassionate action for others, what what relationship does that establish between you and, and this, mostly focusing now on, you know, and compassionate action that you're doing in the presence of another person, if you send a cheque to support, you know, orphanages in Uganda, because you read about in the newspaper, you know, there's not that much of a relationship between the orphans, in Uganda. But there is maybe you are, in a sense, establishing some kind of relatedness that maybe is a little bit one directed, but it's still a relatedness with suffering and Uganda. And, and, and, you know, there's a bigger kind of we that's operating here as well. And what is that? So especially when we're doing atomic it directly for ourselves directly with someone else. And it's easy to have easy enough to do what we think is compassionate action, that we're kind of very strongly kind of imposing ourselves on the other person or so focused on the other person, that we're completely ignoring ourselves, and ignoring ourselves. We also then ignore what's being established between us, because that involves both self and other relatedness. And I've known people who have done wonderfully compassionate things for others out of compassion, but there was no personal connection, even when it was one on one. It was kind of perfunctory, or it was kind of just like, yes, I want to help this person. And here, you can just hear something you can have or do, or how you can be helped, but there's a kind of a distance and, and some of that distance sometimes is when we hold ourselves apart, sometimes with the idea of pity or superiority or here, let me help you so poor and, you know, miserable and, and it's kind of looking down at people. And so the relationship then, is not a healthy relationship. To be the one who has the power and the authority to do things, and the other person doesn't. And so then to be compassionate with our power and our authority to fix things for them or do things for them. But what it, it continues is the relationship of kind of a power dynamic. That's not really that healthy either. And it's not the best vehicle through which compassion and love can flow, but still be helping people and beneficial way. But their relationship is not necessarily such a wonderful relationship to have. And so is it a relationship of mutual respect? Or is it a relationship of respect, even if it's not mutual, in one direction? Which kind of changes the nature of the dynamic between the two people? Is there love? Is there friendly friendship between them? Is friendship being offered? are we contributing to a richer, more valuable relatedness between the two people? Or are we holding ourselves off at a distance? And are we kind of being one sided, or are we not open to the relationship, we don't want to be open to the relationship, you don't want the relationship, we maybe give maybe some money to someone who's homeless, but you know, we're afraid of the person or we aversive of the person, we don't really want to have any more contact, we want to help them. But we don't want any more contact, because of all kinds of reasons. And so that the relationship is one that is not no relationship in a sense. And the importance of this relatedness in relationships, is that the kindness, the friendliness, the the mutuality, that can exist in relationships, even with strangers. For many people is kind of like food for the heart, that human beings in the big for many people, not everyone, but many human beings. They're really kind of who we are as a person, how we live as a person, how we grow as a person, how we are happy as a person has a lot to do with how we are in relationship to other people. A lot of our unhappiness, also how we're in relationship with people, and there's coffin over concerned with real relatedness over concern what people think, and and am I going to be rejected? I'm going to be like that. What can I do to have a good relationship? How do I get respect? How do I get love from other people? And there's a lot of concerned activity. And there is something we learned through meditation about being unconcerned unworried on opinionated on without neediness in the relationship. But open to establishing a healthy relationship between self and other. And the simplest healthy way is one of friendliness. We don't want to have a too high a bar that we're supposed to love everyone, that's a bad, maybe nothing, then that can be interfere. But just as simple friendliness, or maybe even more simple, maybe it's respect to establish a level of respect in that relationship between you appreciation, attune attunement, and awareness that people thrive in being listened to, and being seen clearly for who they are. And sometimes if we can see someone and stop and listen, lo and behold, that gives them the possibility to doing the same to us. And then what happens, the magic, the specialness that can happen between people, even total strangers, even seeing each other for 30 seconds of being kind of open and to acknowledge to see and to know each other, where we meet with an open mindedness and open heartedness and open endedness.
And we see each other in that openness. We see each other in the richness and the fullness, without needing to define without having needs without having fears. So compassionate action, that were the may be the heart of the compassion that one thing that is most beneficial for everyone concerned is not giving someone money is not giving them food, not driving them to the doctor. That's the vehicle for some deeper movement of care and compassion that allow a creates a real Sure, valuable connection, warmth, love between people. So what is the relatedness we're creating? What are we contributing to it, take someone to the emergency. And they might remember that for a long time, but take someone to the emergency with real love and care and kindness and respect. And that might be what has a long term benefit for them, that might even be greater than whatever the doctor does for them in the emergency. So compassionate action for the sake of self and other is something to be concerned about when we do compassionate action. So that it becomes a more considered more richer, more, there's more facets to what compassionate action is, than the simple thing of doing something for someone else. And, and that's this idea of establishing this good relationship or offering that is why it's so important. The second thing we talked about yesterday, which is compassionate action, which is for the sake of oneself, meaning we take care of ourselves, we do it so that that nourishes us, it supports us, it liberates us, it opens us up to love and care and respect for others. And then there's more richness and possible in the relatedness between self and other. So compassionate action for the sake of self another. So if you'd like over the next 24 hours, to explore this in your life, daily life, you might no need to know you're doing this. But you might give some attention to notice, when you're with other people. What's the quality of that relatedness? And what are you contributing to the quality of relatedness relationship between between between you? And and again, it doesn't have to be, you know, dramatic, it doesn't have to be love. But is there something? What's the chemistry? What's the atmosphere? And what's the dynamics that's been established between you and others, even strangers, like, you know, clerks in a store, or, or people standing in line or people you pass on the road? Is there a relationship that would use walk down this down the road and ignore whoever's passing you by? Are you available to smile or say hello, and, and in a way that feels safe and appropriate? What is the relationship you have with the people what kind of relationship established and then if you do this exercise, it's very interesting to see how it shifts that relatedness in the course of a conversation or a time together, how the quality of conversation that what we say and how we feel and what we convey to others, we can feel that the conversation opens the conversation connects us more, or the conversation closes us and creates more distance. And we can sometimes see in other people, that the effect of what we're talking about that no now they're pulling away a teeny bit to feel more closed. They're turning away a little bit looking out. Or now they're really opening up their present. They're delighted. And it's can be very subtle energetics that shift and change. But what happens if you start noticing dynamics of the relatedness? And how does that affect how you want to be compassionate, caring, helpful for for other people? So thank you very much, and I look forward to continuing this tomorrow.