Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
~ Dalai Lama
The Journey to The Now
I’ve been studying Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness practice for many years, reading and listening to the teachings of Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, and many others. But in the chaotic experiences of everyday life, I haven’t put those teachings into practice as often as I could or should. So each morning, I reaffirm my intention to live that day with mindfulness and compassion ~
My journey into mindfulness practice and Buddhist philosophy began when I read, Opening the Lotus, by Susan Boucher followed by Sue Monk Kidd’s, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. I had returned to college after my firstborn was a year old and decided I would take Eastern Religions and World Religions courses as electives. My list of influential books and resources grew, but there was much within the various religions that I couldn’t grasp onto ~ the mythical aspects. After much searching, I settled on my own spiritual path of Secular Buddhism. Meditation has become an important part of my practice, as well as various podcasts and daily inspirational quotes and teachings.
As both a Political Science and Psychology graduate, I’ve taken the path of Secular Buddhism and attempted to find the intersect between compassion and the complex social/political issues we face today. Unfortunately, I’ve found that I often fall away from the mindfulness and compassion as I engage too fully with those societal problems. As a result, I’ve made the conscious decision to focus more fully and completely on mindfulness and compassion, letting the social-political issues ebb and flow around me as I learn and develop mindful practice*.
Compassion is the essence of beautiful action and the healing it can bring to the human soul, and to society as a whole, is transformational. Compassion bridges the gap between ideologies, belief-systems, labels and more. Unfortunately, compassion seems to be the missing ingredient in our society and our lives. My renewed focus and deep motivation to bring compassionate action, loving-kindness and mindfulness into the world around me starts from within. My hope is that I can be a positive influence in my Self, in my family, in my work and in my community ~ and that it ripples outward to the whole of humanity.
* Due to the current political climate- a climate that is creating devastating effects on every aspect of our lives- I am re-evaluating this position and I’m beginning the exploration of joining social activism with my path of mindfulness and compassion. I believe the lines are not so firm and that the compassionate path is also the activism path; the key is to remain on the firm foundation of mindfulness and non-attachment.