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2.1 Cultivating Compassion

2011-01-12
By: Amaya
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NOTE: This blog post is part of a series about psychic development. Find the index for the series here.

What does compassion have to do with psychic ability, you may be asking? Clearly I think it's important, or it wouldn't be step #2 on the Road to Becoming Psychic, right? A couple of years after I wrote the first draft of this particular blog entry, I had the great fortune to read theblog of intuitive counselor Erin Pavlina, whose explanation of this was WAY better than mine. Read it here. What I originally wrote about this topic is below.

Compassion is a tricky thing sometimes. It's different than pity. It'snot quiteempathy, or sympathy. Wikipedia describes the Buddhist conception of compassion like this:

The Dalai Lama has said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The American monk Bhikkhu Bodhi states that compassion "supplies the complement to loving-kindness: whereas loving-kindness has the characteristic of wishing for the happinessand welfare of others, compassion has the characteristic of wishing that others be free from suffering, a wish to be extended without limits to all living beings. Like metta,compassion arises by entering into the subjectivity of others, by sharing their interiority in a deep and total way. It springs up by considering that all beings, like ourselves, wish to be free from suffering, yet despite their wishes continue to be harassed by pain, fear, sorrow, and other forms of dukkha."

At the same time, it is emphasised that in order to manifest effective compassion for others it is first of all necessary to be able to experience and fully appreciate one's own suffering and to have, as a consequence, compassion for oneself. The Buddha is reported to have said, "It is possible to travel the whole world in search of one who is more worthy of compassion than oneself. No such person can be found."

Compassion is the antidote to the self-chosen poison of anger.

When a psychic receives information about another person (or maybe another lifetime that they themselves led), the psychic person enters into the subjectivity of that person, sharing their interiority in a deep and total way. In becoming more clearly and trulypsychic, it is important to be able to respectthe subjective quality of the interior lives of other people. One way to get to that place of being able to respect other people's thoughts, feelings, and moral guidelinesis to honor our own interiority fully and without reservation.

What I mean by this is that if there are things about ourselves that we hate, or if there have been wrongs done to us that we haven't yet forgiven, there arises a temptation to hatesimilar things in others. "It is first of all necessary to experience and fully appreciate one's own suffering and to have, as a consequence, compassion for oneself."

In order to develop psychic ability, it is not necessary to be completely free ofbiases and condemnations.In fact, that'smost likelyimpossible, given the way our human brains are wired. It IS necessary, though, to recognize that we allhave biases, filters, and judgments about "good" and "bad" that work for us, but that might be totally inconceivable to someone else. The exercises in this series are intended to help us to understand our own interior lives a little better, and hopefully to heal some of theideas that we have about ourselves and othersthat might be blocking our intuitive abilities.

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