2023-03-23-Gil-Aspects of Compassion (4 of 5) Aspiration
7:14PM Mar 23, 2023
So today I'll talk about the fourth element of compassion, aspiration. And this is kind of one of the kind of really core elements of compassion kind of what really begins to have compassion take shape take form. And that is the wish for others to not suffer the aspiration, that the suffering of the world be be, be remedied, be fixed, alleviated. And, and I use the word aspiration purposely, because it's not a very commonly used word, I believe, different than desire, different than wish, which has a lot of associations, and part of the associations is that associations of obligation that we should, there could be a sense of with it, with a desire, that desire to, you know, to help someone, there can be a lot of self self, baggage around self and success and being seen being appreciated being a good person, showing that we're a good person. All kinds of things come along with that. But aspiration, as for me a sense of arising something deep inside, that we aspire for something, but it's held very lightly, there's no attachment or clinging. It's just the aspiration is very simple. And because as the word aspiration is related to the word breathing, it's related to the word like respiration has to do in Latin with to breathe. And I think of it I think, I think the Latin could literally mean something like to breathe out. And but to breathe easily, to have a relaxed, easy, comfortable breathing, where there's no, the breathing is not too engaged, you know, tighten up and faster and bigger in order to run or to fight or to get a job done or something, or to protect oneself. Everything is kind of soft and relaxed. So there's in that easy breathing, there's room for this easy aspiration to arise. And to have this aspiration to alleviate, to support people in their suffering to alleviate the suffering or to care for them and their suffering. To have it come from such a place is precious, that's what makes karunā That compassionate Buddhism, sweet, kind of a pleasure to it. And, and, and it just makes it kind of a source of happiness, just defeat because a feeling comes such a good deep place inside. But we're introducing this now in the fourth day of these five elements. And because each of the previous three are setting the stage for allowing the simplicity of aspiration to come in, often in in the world, when people talk about compassion. Many people recognize it as a wonderful and inspiring ideal. But very few people have a really clear sense of what it is in its simplicity. There can be a lot of it's kind of a general, it's a vague idea. And that can come with IDEA yes, we want to feel people suffering and we want to you know, have empathy for them, feel their suffering or feel their suffering and want to go out there and help them. But with, if that's not done carefully, the feeling other people's suffering could just make us miserable. And if we're not doing carefully, wanting to support help, someone can come along with a lot of complicated desires and attachments and confusion. So to begin this by being aware, where we're present for people in the world, but we're not entangled with our thoughts, we're not like proliferating thoughts and memories and fantasies and expectations and, and selves and me and you. There's something very grounded and simple in the awareness that is going to then begin to take in another person others and then to when we're with someone who's suffering, to find out how to be attune to them, how to be in harmony with them. It's so easy to lose harmony. If we have a headlong rush into caring for them, fixing them and having the I need to help I need to fix exam is one of the most complicated things is to feel responsible for the suffering of others. But to be attuned to the suffering to find a sense of harmony, that's very contextually situated, that takes oneself someone's personal situation to account others. So we don't lose ourselves. We don't give ourselves up in the contact with others, but we attune ourselves to what's happening. And then to appreciate and respect others respect ourselves. We don't respect people, if we're trying to fix them. We don't respect their autonomy, if we take responsibility for their suffering, we don't respect and appreciate other people. If we take too much the notion of being I'm the helper. I'm like, little bit superior, I'm the person who kind of knows it all are capable to do it. And I'm going to take care of you who doesn't know what to do, and Kath know what to do, and, and so it's a little bit condescending, even video of helping sometimes. So to have this respect and appreciation of others, then when we encounter suffering, then maybe we allow for this deeper aspiration to arise. It's one of the most beautiful things that a human being love, care, kindness, that is an aspiration that arises from the depth of who we are, that has no pressure in it. It has no assertiveness in it, no hurry in it. No requirement that it's a no obligation. But it's the it's the it's the warmth, that's the glow. It's the it's the calling. It's the maybe yearning or deep kind of deep desire, that we have. And this is one of the beautiful things to be able to discover this deeper, deeper desire. We are human desire, Ling's desire is an intimate an integral part of who we are. And to discover how to these desires benefit us fill us with goodness, fill us with a sense of wonderful vitality and animation. That is a wonderful thing. We're not supposed to give up all desire and be deflated. And but this deeper, deeper place, it's almost a comes from a place where does come from place where there's no ego, no conceit, no love, love locking into an identity, this is who I am, this is who I have to be no fixed identity that we hold on to. It's, it's deeper than any identity we can have. This deep replace this wellspring. And, and so this compassionate wish that others not suffer. And I've been the recipient of that, where someone didn't actually help me. But I felt their wish, their compassionate kind of care and recognition of my suffering. And their, and their kind of good feel that they there, they wanted it to be different for me. And that was their wish, but there was just kind of beautiful love, that just feeling that from that person changed my life. This is when I was quite young, and being with a Buddhist teacher, young teacher, or Bacopa, Zen priest, and in my suffering, feeling this beautiful, clear, simple, didn't feel put on put upon, I didn't feel like felt the person who maybe could have helped if it was appropriate. But it was just this this simple, beautiful aspiration this wish that kind of resonated with me or eight, there was an attunement, that really kind of I felt touched, but that attunement. So too. So, this is the kind of incense the beginning with a heart of, of compassion is a desire, and to become wise about desire and to know the difference between desire which is an erotic desire, which is obligation, desire, which is forced with assertive desire that comes along with fear, desire that comes along with desperation, all those folders fall away that the parting of the water and this beautiful, deeper place of aspiration. And,
and, and then one of the part of the art of this whole kind of karunā deeper compassion is learning to trust that that's okay, too. Learning to trust that yes, it's okay to have a deep desire for the welfare of others. That doesn't come with anger doesn't come with desperation doesn't come with force and obligation doesn't come with the kind of a kind of the clinging or the drive the compulsion. I have to fix it. I have to do it, it's up to me. It comes from a very different place comes from someplace that feels, yes, yes, if I can, if it's in front of me if it's possible, from this place of freedom from this place of deep, heartfelt, this, I will now consider acting and doing something if I can, or what can I do? And that's a topic for tomorrow, action. And how can action also have these qualities of this depth that I'm talking about today, where aspiration comes from, how can action have some of these qualities of non attachment and not assertiveness and non clinging? So awareness, attunement, appreciation, aspiration, and then tomorrow we'll do action, that which completes kind of the five different aspects or elements that make us karunā In Buddhism. So thank you, and look forward to tomorrow.