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'Compassion'

By Jessica Bellofatto, April 2009

“Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables. When you really look for me, you will see me instantly- you will find me in the tiniest house of time. Kabir says: Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.”
Kabir (15th c.)

All of us, each one of us, consciously or unconsciously, is on a Path. Whether the path is Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, each of us seek the end of suffering and lasting happiness. This seemingly elusive state, the one where we are content, fulfilled and engaged, is possible for each one of us, according to the ancient teachings of yoga. Happiness does not have to stay forever just beyond our grasp, a seductive mirage. Yoga teaches us that the possibility of ending our suffering exists and that the possibility for actual, tangible happiness exists as well, for each and every one of us.

The beautiful Kabir tells us we will not find "it" in synagogues or in cathedrals. It is not ‘out there’. We do not have to travel to India to find "it." We do not have to fast for days on end and "wrap our legs around our neck" (poking fun at us hatha yogis!!). The Buddha tried the path of the ascetic. Born into a life of great wealth and excess, He abandoned conventional lifestyle altogether. For years He practiced severe austerities: fasting for months, meditating in a cave with no outside contact, eating ants and whatnot. In the end, He concluded such practices did not work.

When the Buddha became enlightened under the Bodhi tree, He saw that the world existed according to what we call karma, commonly known as ‘What goes around, comes around’. He saw that the end to suffering is only achieved when we stop taking care only of ourselves and start taking care of others. By doing this, we assure a world in which we are always taken care of.

Try it... what have you got to lose? In the end, the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll be a kinder, nicer and more compassionate person. At best, you will see the efficacy of the law of karma and will begin to live your life according to these precious principles that have lasted over 2500 years. They have lasted because they WORK.

Try it....time is running out.

 

 

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