January 12 – Staying aware yet compassionate

By | January 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

Continuing with the talk from Kamala Masters, “Equanimity-Seeing the World with Quiet Eyes

Kamala poses a second question we can ask ourselves.
How can we stay aware yet compassionate towards ourselves when we do react?

She says,

We oftentimes judge ourselves after [reacting]. Then we’re paralyzed again, because we did or said something, it caused a kerfluffle, and now what do we do?
We can bring equanimity there also.

Kamala describes equanimity as: spacious, calm, balanced, well-grounded. Embodied, compassionate wisdom. She clarifies that it’s not like balancing on a razor’s edge, but rather like being on the top of a grounded mountain, and you see all sides. She says there is courage, patience, flexibility, perseverance, a sense of agency.

This spacious balance implies that the heart and mind can be big enough to contain all that life presents. Not just what we prefer.

Moon above Saskatoon, January 10, 2020

She then shares one of my favorite poems from Izumi Shikibu (translation by Jane Hirshfield)

Watching the moon
at midnight,
solitary, mid-sky,
I knew myself completely,
no part left out.

Guided Meditation: Mindful Magazine recently featured an excerpt from Tara Brach’s new book, Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN. The excerpt describes Tara’s RAIN practice (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture), and includes text and a link for a guided practice.

Feel free to share your reflections or comments below, or by email.

With warm wishes,

2 thoughts on “January 12 – Staying aware yet compassionate

  1. Robbie Drummond

    So so beautiful how to be solitary and dispassionate and yet deeply caring for the well being of all sentient beings… without judgement

    reminds me of the twentieth verse of the Tao

    Stop thinking and your problems will end.
    What difference between yes and no?
    What difference between success and failure?
    Must you value what others value,
    and fear what others fear?
    How ridiculous!

    In spring, some go to the park and climb the terrace,
    but I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
    I alone don’t care,
    I alone am expressionless,
    like a newborn baby before it has learned to smile.
    Other people have more than they need,
    I alone possess nothing.
    Mine is indeed the mind of an ignoramus
    in its unadulterated simplicity.
    I am but a guest in this world.
    While others rush about to get things done,
    I accept what is offered.
    I alone seem foolish,
    earning little, spending less.

    Others strive for fame,
    I avoid the limelight.
    Other people have a purpose;
    I alone don’t know.
    Indeed, I seem like an idiot;
    no mind, no worries.

    I drift like a wave on the ocean.
    I blow as aimless as the wind.

    All men settle down into their grooves;
    I alone am stubborn and remain outside.
    But wherein I am most different from others is
    in knowing to take sustenance from the great Mother.

    1. Andrea Grzesina Post author

      That’s beautiful Robbie. Thank you for sharing!

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