In My Mind's Zen Garden
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understanding compassion


[ in starbucks – little italy, surfing the web and listening jazz ]

~

I’ve been trying very hard to understand the Dalai Lama’s teachings of compassion.

It’s very hard when others “throw” their aggression at you like a baseball pitcher throws his fast ball. I’m like a rookie batter on the plate, shell-shocked because I don’t know what hit me… maybe it was a curve ball…

Alas…

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.
—Dalai Lama

When a relative remarked that it looked like I gained weight several months before, I was hurt and offended. But, in reality, she did me a favor…. that it didn’t really matter what her intentions were behind her words. It was a message that I needed to do something about my propensity for weight gain.

I decided then and there that I needed to finally take action to look my best and to eat right and to exercise and do the things I needed to do to improve my self-image.

Lately, people have been telling me that I look great, that I’ve lost weight, that I have a certain glow. One person even went so far as to tell me that my aura seemed to have changed for the better.

Anyways, for once in my life I feel as if I’m on the right track. My performance while drumming and playing piano have improved and I feel more relaxed and less tense while performing, which translates to more energy utilized for the actual performance, and none wasted because of tense-ness and feeling nervous or stiff onstage.

The yoga and meditation always helps… always does wonders for me. But I realize it’s more deeper than that. That its effects are felt at this deeper, more spiritual level. And being a jazz musician that thrives on spontaneity of musical events during any jazz performance, it’s very important, I think, to feel that musical energy on a more positive, intuitive level.

It’s not about thinking that you’re doing it… it’s all about becoming… IT! I won’t say that I’m there all of the time, but for the most part, I feel I’m frequently in-the-zone with my musical performances. It feels really good.

Getting back to feeling compassion for others. It’s really hard to show compassion for the person who cuts you off on the freeway, or the person that yells at you for one reason or another.

But, when the Dalai Lama preaches that we must love our enemies and treat everyone like our brother or sister, I agree with him that this is the ideal way of moral action. It’s just hard sometimes, but I’m beginning to realize that it’s a matter of your point-of-view, of seeing things from outside of yourself and trying to expand one’s mind… one’s consciousness to be able to show compassion for all things, whether friend or foe.

Sometimes I’m able to understand this after much meditation. But, still it’s hard sometimes and I understand that it’s all a learning process, as long as one is devoted to that sense of morality and regard for his fellow human beings.



About the author:
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Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

4 COMMENTS
  1. will

    Carlos, sometimes it is hard to change our individual ways, but we shouldn’t give up trying. We may view ourselves as just a single part of this big world with no way to influence any changes. But everything has to start somewhere, and then one must hope it spreads. Sometimes your compassion for others may wear off on the other individual. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Doesn’t hurt to try.

    I mean, you’d like others to treat you the way way you treat them right? This is part of that process, the compassion for others.

    Carlos, have you had a read of this before (Also by the Dalai Lama)?
    http://www.kadamsharawa.org.au/hhdl_gcur.htm

    I was reading it a few months ago, and although it was written back in 1990 (and re-editted in ’92), it is still quite relevant in our current world.

  2. will

    Carlos, sometimes it is hard to change our individual ways, but we shouldn’t give up trying. We may view ourselves as just a single part of this big world with no way to influence any changes. But everything has to start somewhere, and then one must hope it spreads. Sometimes your compassion for others may wear off on the other individual. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Doesn’t hurt to try.

    I mean, you’d like others to treat you the way way you treat them right? This is part of that process, the compassion for others.

    Carlos, have you had a read of this before (Also by the Dalai Lama)?
    http://www.kadamsharawa.org.au/hhdl_gcur.htm

    I was reading it a few months ago, and although it was written back in 1990 (and re-editted in ’92), it is still quite relevant in our current world.

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