© Pamir Kiciman 2010

Compassion is a quality of the awakened heart. The awakened heart is one which is healed and transcendent of petty concerns. The natural human capacity to feel for and with others is where compassion begins. Compassion circumscribed by one’s immediate family and friends is an imitation of itself. It never quite peaks and can lead to narrow self-interest, and thus conflict. Compassion isn’t only love, kindness, empathy, or altruism. It’s a combination of these, making it entirely different. It must break the shores of personal concerns before it can truly become itself. Attached compassion is not really of much use to anyone.

True compassion brings with it a clear awareness. This awareness is abiding, as is compassion. Both are sourced in the same origin. Compassion and awareness engender each other. Awareness can open the heart to bigger compassion, and compassion can open the mind to greater awareness. This is the power and effectiveness of working with abiding qualities; they’re efficient and direct.

Compassion elevates both the bearer and its recipient. Because it sources from an abiding place, true compassion is effective in an endless sphere. Likewise, compassion is very practical and not reserved for highlight moments. It’s an everyday companion and a peak experience all at once.

Compassion has to begin in spiritual contemplation and practice. It’s there that whatever needs to be healed in our humanity can be healed. We’re born with a good heart. Living can bake a crust on it. It’s also not necessarily an awakened heart at the start. Thus there’s inner work to be done. To awaken the heart to its true nature is extremely rewarding because it returns us home, and reveals our best in all areas.

Compassion at the human level is better than any of its opposites. Compassion that’s harvested from its universal source by personal inner practice is inestimably valuable. This is the compassion we must tap and share widely.

Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves the highest peak and the deepest reach in his or her search for self-fulfillment.

— Arthur Jersild

What’s often missed with compassion is that it’s also a tremendous source of strength. An eternal resource such as compassion is solid and far-reaching. It brings with it other timeless qualities and informs our human experience on all levels.

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution.

— Kahlil Gibran

How have you accessed compassion, how has it instructed you and where have you applied its goodness?

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Compassion and the Awakened Heart

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