Thursday, September 8, 2011

More Than Just Compassion

The place I currently work at has me on a mixed schedule.  I often don't know when I'm supposed to show up for work, and sometimes (like the other day) I get up at 4 a.m. to show up at 5 a.m. (like my schedule says) and nobody is there.  So I go back home and receive a call informing me that I'm supposed to go in at 8.

This incident got me thinking as I sat in contemplation.  I was getting angry at my supervisors when I realized I should have compassion for them. Now the dictionary definition of compassion is: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.  Those who practice Buddhism know that "dictionary definitions" do not always pertain to the terms used in our practice. As such, I find that compassion has many more meanings.

To me, out of compassion comes sincerity, patience, acceptance, and unbiased love.  So practicing this compassion helped me accept the fact that even though I got up so early for work when I didn't need to, I was able to subdue my anger and frustration.

Dogen Zenji states that when we understand one aspect of practice, understanding of all other aspects will follow.  I believe compassion is a good example of this.  With reflection on what is causing our suffering, when we look at it with a compassionate mind, we are able to see the many sides of the cause of that suffering without bias.  We can accept, gain patience, and work out obstacles in a calm and more productive manner.


Anonymous said...

I think it's fine to be angry as long as it is not to an extreme, it brings change. Change is the only universal constant. That is my opinion.

tscrew said...

True, I agree, but how we handle the anger is also important I would say

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