2008.04.13 19:00 - Compassion

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    This evening started off quietly. Given all the comings and goings in the little tea house, it was an interesting experience just sitting there for awhile, enjoying the silence. But then it is also fun to have someone drop by again. Compared to all the structure we normally have in our lives, not knowing what will happen and who will show up I find actually quite refreshing.

    After a quarter of an hour Dakini stopped by, and a little later a traveler who just happened to pass through Rieul and who was curious as to what we were doing. Since he, too, had ample experience in various forms of meditation, the conversation naturally moved in that direction. Among other things, we talked about whether there is a need for ritual, and the question of what the goal is of meditation. These are difficult questions to answer in general, in fact they do not have a general answer. It all depends on who asks the question in what context.

    The deeper a question, the less you can say about it on a general conceptual level. You cannot pin down the nature of reality, cannot capture it in words — yet you can point to it, and if there is enough mutual resonance and understanding, you can most definitely communicate. But that kind of communication does require a type of cultivation, a readiness and openness and willingness to see. And as Dakini expressed it:

    Dakini Rhode: one of the reasons the buddhists focus so much on developing compassion….
    Dakini Rhode: so that one can understand other people and what they might need at their particular stage

    If we think we have figured things out, and try to tell others what the truth is like, we are guaranteed to miss the mark. But if we learn to see the limitations of our own concepts and conclusions, and if we at the same time cultivate compassion for others and for ourselves as well, we can begin to shed all ideas and words. We can leave them at the door, like shoes we take off. Entering the room and sitting down together on the carpet of compassion, we can open our hearts and start from scratch, fresh, with what is at hand — with was is, not what we have, not what we have brought in. The more we can leave what we have at the door, the more we can share wat is.

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