It's the week of Total X people ! And X = Compassion today :) A recent epiphany came during a talk by Chade-Meng Tan, the man behind Google's "Search Inside Yourself". Someone in the audience asked a question that had troubled me for some time: "How do you get over content? If meditation brings you such joy, why would you even move a finger ?". Once you discover how exhilarating meditation and mindfulness is - why lift a finger ? Why work ? What stops me from finding a cave in the mountains ?
Tan smiled and answered saying: "There's a name for all these monks that go in the mountains and spend their time meditating. They're called Zen Bums". Lazy people basically ! He explained that the key to moving out of the monastery's comfort and back into life was: Compassion. Basically the ability to feel what others feel.
Practical exercise !
- Picture your worst enemy.
- Picture yourself doing the most horrific things to him.
- Go wild. You have as much time as you want.
- As grand as your hate can be, it will not last infinitely.
- Eventually, probably 6 to 10 minutes in, you'll realise the ridicule of your hate.
- You'll even notice a glimpse of love ! Wtf !
Not out of mere contemplation ("I shouldn't hate people") but out the horrific destruction you attempted. Not a mere invention of a feeling but a real emergence of compassion out of hate's absurdity. The emergence of compassion as the only possibility. The Fatal Unconditional existence of Compassion.
The moment comes where you realise there is nothing to judge, regret or project into. That now is all you have. That there are no boundaries between you and others except your mind-stuff. Suddenly, all you want to do, all you can do, is give your all to others. It's pretty cool :)