Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Compassion Softens Obstructions

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This was the Daily Om from a few days back:
A Softer Touch
Apply Gentleness To Everything

Throughout life we must cope with blockages that impede our forward momentum. Whether these obstacles are of a personal, professional, or societal nature, our first instinct may be to push against the obstruction. But the simplest way to alleviate resistance is to approach it gently, with a soft manner and kind intentions. Struggle and strife can find no foothold when confronted with mildness because conflict can only exist when fed by two opposing forces. So many areas of our lives can benefit from the application of gentleness. The beauty of gentleness lies in its multifaceted nature. It is part love, part compassion, part patience, part understanding, and part respect for others. When we move through life gently as a matter of course, we naturally attract these wonderful elements into our lives.

This does not mean that gentle people are by nature passive or meek. Rather, their copious inner power is manifested in their gentleness and their choice to move with the flow of the universe instead of against it. You can make use of gentleness in your own life by applying it in situations where you feel challenged by your circumstances or by people in your environment. As you move forward gently, the energy pervading your life will likely shift and, consequently, the blockages before you will vanish. Cooperation progresses smoothly when approached gently because all parties involved feel confident that their needs will be met. And quarrels are easily quelled with gentleness because the dualistic concepts of losing and winning are made moot by our willingness to exercise infinite patience with those whose values differ from our own.

Gentleness must be practiced, as we are inadvertently encouraged to act competitive in certain phases of our lives. At first, your established habits may make being truly gentle challenging. Yet after a time, if you commit to consciously applying gentleness to all areas of your life, whether by collaborating rather than competing or yielding graciously to the impassable roadblocks in your path in order to seek a new road, you will find that you begin to act gently habitually. Your patterns of thought and behavior become ever more peaceful, and you will discover that you encounter far less impassable resistance on your individual journey.
This is good advice, as long as it doesn't turn into idiot compassion. We can be gentle and compassionate and still be fierce in our love for ourselves and for others. This is from lotusinthemud:

Could you briefly describe idiot compassion?

Chogyam Trungpa:
Idiot compassion is the highly conceptualized idea
you want to do good....Of course, [according to
the Mahayana teachings of
Buddhism] you should do
everything for everybody; there is no selection

involved at all. But that doesn't mean to say that you
have to be gentle
all the time. Your gentleness should
have heart, strength. In order that
your compassion
doesn't become idiot compassion, you have to use your

intelligence. Otherwise, there could be self-indulgence
of thinking that
you are creating a compassionate situation
when in fact you are feeding the
other person's aggression.
If you go to a shop and the shopkeeper cheats
you and you
go back and let him cheat you again, that doesn't seem to
be a
very healthy thing to do for others.

~ Chogyam Trungpa

This is a good balance to the quote above.

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