Compassion. Can you feel it? Wisdom. Do you cultivate it?
When I practise yoga and use my breath, I am in a moving meditation. When I sit on my yoga mat with an upright spine, allowing energy to flow and I use the breath as a tool to still my mind, I am meditating.
Today, I was given a gift. I was guided to the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Melbourne for their New Year Meditation Festival 2019.
I welcomed this opportunity to immerse myself in learning about Buddhism, having previous only dipped in to our local Buddhist’s centre at home in the UK and dipped out again. Today however, I took part in meditation sessions and workshops offered by the Tibetan Buddhist Society, including a delightful garden tour where I learnt how their garden reflects the Buddhist’s principle of do no harm, where planting schemes are designed so plant-life and wildlife live in harmony.
In my life, I try to cultivate compassion — for myself, for other human beings, for all nature and for the universe. I feel drawn to Buddhism as a philosophy and a guide for living. I strive for wisdom — not wisdom as a result of learning, but wisdom gained through seeing the true nature of things.
In Buddhism, compassion and wisdom go together. I have learnt today if I practice meditation regularly, I will be able to cultivate more space in my mind, and distance myself from suffering. I have learnt compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind (or consciousness), a wanting of others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive — it’s not empathy alone — but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. I have learnt genuine compassion must have both wisdom and loving kindness. I have learnt in order to have compassion for others, I have to feel compassion for myself. I have to develop self care and nurturing of myself.
How can I relate my experiences of today at the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Melbourne to my writing?
When I write from emotional depth, I feel a connection to myself. It is one of the reasons I write. Writing from a deep sense of myself, I feel compassion and I cultivate wisdom. Wisdom is to see and understand for myself, to keep an open mind rather than being closed-minded.
Compassion and wisdom are two strands in my life I am weaving together as I write and practice yoga (on and off the mat).
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