The Wisdom of Compassion…
A reflection on practice by Venerable Dhammadinna
Sometimes people think vipassana, or insight, is one thing and compassion is another. If you think like that you won’t see the wisdom in compassion. And that’s a pity because there is a special wisdom in the compassionate perspective.
If you are earnest about vipassana, you are used to turning toward something that arises in the field of awareness. We are well trained in that. And we know mindfulness will deepen our comprehension of any contact. Not only that, but mindfulness will drive away the deluding power of pleasure, pain and the perceptions of lasting happiness. The heart essence of vipassana is to relieve us from our default mode of taking everything personally. That’s liberation.
Compassion also turns toward any turbulence that arises in the field of awareness. When something stirs us up, we have lost our inner wholeness. Our distress deepens when we feel intimidated by our emotions — it’s like that, a disturbing feeling and then a feeling about the feeling.
By the power of empathy, compassion turns toward suffering and offers a deep acknowledgment of our disturbance. That deep, mindful acknowledgment frees us to feel all of what is there without defensiveness. We don’t need to fear being overwhelmed because the compassionate mind acts as a companion supporting us in understanding dukkha/suffering. The compassionate perspective drives away the deluding power of inner alienation and fear. You could say that these things “self liberate” and that’s the heart essence of compassion.
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