When love becomes divine love, compassion also fills the heart. Love is the inner feeling and compassion is its expression. Compassion is expressing your heartfelt concern for someone — for a suffering human being. Therefore, love and compassion are two sides of the same coin; they coexist. Amma
What would end human suffering? greed? conflict? inequity? If we consider Amma’s words, it makes sense that compassion is a key factor to ending suffering; treating ourselves and others with loving consideration. If every time we want to do something selfish, mean or inconsiderate, we stop and consider the havoc our actions will wreck, most of us would act with more sensitivity. One of the many factors behind the economic downturn was the excess that occurred during the real estate boom. When the market tanked, we found out how greed, lies and misappropriation of financial instruments contributed to our predicament. Imagine how different the outcome would have been if all operated from a place of compassion.
A Man’s Story: “A man went to his doctor because he was feeling poorly. After the consultation, the doctor called the man’s wife into into his office and said, “Your husband is very sick and unless you do the following, he will die.” What must I do? She asked. ” Every day pamper him, cook all his favorite meals, never criticize his actions, smile a lot, love him without complaint, praise him, indulge his wishes, make sure all his needs are met and he won’t die.” Thanking the doctor, she left with her husband. On the way home, the man asked his wife, “What did the good doctor say to you?” Oh, she said, “he told me you are definitely going to die!”
“Compassion does not see the faults of others. It does not see the weaknesses of people. It makes no distinction between good and bad people. Compassion cannot draw a line between two countries, two faiths or two religions. Compassion has no ego; thus there is no fear, lust or passion. Compassion simply forgives and forgets. Compassion is like a passage. Everything passes through it. Nothing can stay there. Compassion is love expressed in all its fullness.” Amma
Amma shared the man’s story above in her talk on Tuesday. A spirit of compassion is an important quality to have; it means that we would never wish to hurt another soul. When we treat each other with disregard, without any compassion, the result is like the one above. The wife had no interest in changing her ways and if we act the same way towards others, we contribute to the suffering. Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī, known affectionately as Amma the hugging saint, is visiting Manhattan, at the Jacob Javits Center, and offering teachings and free hugs to all who need one. She leaves after the program ends early Thursday morning. More below
“To be able to put oneself in another’s position, to be able to see and to feel as another person does, this is the rare gift of an earnest spiritual seeker.” Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī
“There are three types of people in this world. There are those who have nothing; then there are those who are just scraping by; and the third type are those who have far more than they need. Now, if those who belong to the third category don’t do anything to help those of the first two categories, then Amma would say that those who belong to the third category, who are supposed to be rich, are, in fact, the poorest of the poor. Those who have far more than they need should have eyes with which to see the suffering of others; they should have ears to hear the distressed calls for help; they should have a loving heart with which to feel compassion towards those who suffer, and they should have willing hands with which to lend their assistance to those in need.” Amma
No matter where we fit on that list of three types, we can always add our bit to the conversation with compassion and an open heart. What about you? What are your thoughts? How would you define compassion? What pulls you to the subject? What do you think would end all human suffering? What lessons about compassion has your life taught you? Do share! Thank you.
*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… I‘m still recovering from a cold and will be back on track with reading and responding to your blogs by Thursday. Thank you all for your patience!
Positive Motivation Tip: May we share our compassion with all who need it and add our voice to the campaign to end human suffering.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection
- Kindness to Oneself. (elephantjournal.com)
- Reflections: Embrace the Light… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- How can we work for a more peaceful world? (kemeticfederation.wordpress.com)
- Closer to Compassion Part 1: Why Do We Need Compassion? (psychologytoday.com)
- You do not attract what you want; you attract what you are. So make compassion be what you are. (positive-thoughts.typepad.com)
- My First Time Meeting Amma, “The Hugging Saint”, in New Mexico (gettingatwhatmatters.wordpress.com)
- Hugs Heal More Than Spirit (2voices1song.com)