Kosmic Journey

Integral living and wellness. Physical and psychological well-being. Personal enrichment, change management, professional development and learning. Achievement motivation and positive thinking. Emotional and spiritual intelligence. Everything that makes our life more productive and meaningful.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Work of a Compassionate Heart

Close your eyes and breathe comfortably. In this exercise, you are going to experience the meaning of compassion. Where does it come from? What happens to you when you act compassionately? And what happens when you don’t?
Mentally transport yourself to a land that is in a total state of anarchy. There is no law and order. People commit the most heinous crimes against one another. There is death caused by malnutrition and hunger. It seems that God has ceased to exist in that part of the world.
Now imagine that you are working for an international relief agency and it’s your duty to take care of the sick and dying children and the old who can’t even walk. Why did you take this job? You had other options to make a living. You were moved by a commitment to serve people who are suffering. This urge or desire came from deep within you. You knew that you alone could not put an end to these peoples’ suffering. You knew that you were up against forces bigger than yourself. But you decided to take the job and the accompanying risk.
And what do you do? You are nursing a sick child. You are feeding an old man, who is dying, having his last meal. You are nursing a wounded soldier, a perpetrator of violence against his own people. You are caring for a mother who lost every member of her family.
You see yourself in all these roles. Your compassion knows no boundaries. You are compassionate at the risk of your own wellbeing. To the suffering men and women, you are like an angel of hope.
When you act compassionately, you go outside of your own social boundaries to do things that couldn’t be done otherwise. It is compassion, a bundle of divine energy located at the bottom of your heart, that makes you perform acts that are unimaginable in the normal course.
Compassion is about caring. Compassion is about forgiving people for the wrongs they have done. Compassion is about giving people another chance in their life.
You say a silent prayer of thankfulness. To be compassionate is a gift of the divine; it is doing the work of a higher force It is not just your own doing. It is a prayer, a way of worshipping the creator and the creation. It is both a process and an end. It is both a work and the reward of work. It is the way to honor your own being.
Open your eyes when you are ready.

Copyright © Surinder Deol 2006

Monday, January 02, 2006

Unconditional Love from the Unknown

The start of a new year is a time for self-reflection—thinking of the days gone by and the challenges that lie ahead of us. We all engage in this exercise, almost like a ritual, year after year. But will this ritual make any difference? Maybe it does for some people but for most of us it has only marginal significance in terms of a more stable transformation.

J. Krishnamurti used to say that it is impossible to create anything new, something really creative from the old. If we wish to create something new, we have to get rid of our memory, our thoughts, and our mind, because mind is a container of everything that is “known” but it has no clue about the “unknown.” We can discover the unknown only when we are in a state of complete tranquility, experiencing the moment that is alive, cherishing the feeling that is coming and going. In that tranquility we can discover the purpose of our being, what we need to change, and how to change.

Here is a little transformational experiment for you:

Picture in front of your mind’s eye the flame of a candle that is burning, slowly but steadily. Now let this candle recede as if some invisible hand was taking the candle away from you. As the candle continues to move away, the space becomes darker because of the fading light. The candle soon disappears creating complete darkness. With this disappearing candle let all your personal memories fade away, good as well as bad memories, everything including the usual signs of your identity like your name, position, possessions, rank, awards, et al. As your mind becomes quiet and clear, let this darkness too slowly disappear and in its place let there be brightness, that slowly grows in its intensity until the whole space looks new and very bright. You do not know or try to guess from where this light is coming. In this bright space do not search for any images, but do look for the warmth of this bright light and slowly let this warmth enter your entire being as if someone was injecting this warmth through a mechanical device. As you feel the warmth you feel compassion arising, you feel love arising, and you also feel calmness arising in your whole body. Hold this feeling as long as you can.

The important part of this experiment is that you do not ask for anything specific, yet you get everything. When we become a container of love and compassion, we gain everything that is worth having. And this love and compassion is of the “unknown”, and not of the “known” because things of the known are always part of our conditioning. What comes to us from the unknown is truly unconditional love and compassion.

Copyright © Surinder Deol 2006