Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Etiquette of Compassion

The phrase: "Forgive me, I was just trying to help".

We must be very careful when we catch ourselves uttering this.
And we should carefully inquire about what is meant / intent.

Because there seems to be a contradiction here.
Why would someone apologize for trying to help?
That doesn't really make sense.

But if the "help" is really harm,
the the phrase becomes
"Forgive me, for causing harm",
and we all should hear and welcome this virtuous act of repentance.

There is a Polynesian healing technique
called Ho'oponopono:
, Forgiveness, and Gratitude.
It is something we all should practice.


I spent a long time composing this.
Because my intent is that I desire this message
to be most helpful to all beings.

So I asked myself:
What is my intent behind
these words, and actions?

Does "help" mean,
"Action from Compassion,
for the highest good of all beings"?

Or does "help" mean
"Action to build a greater story-of-me"?

Because one of these is truly HELP
and the other is more properly called EGO.

They are really opposites.
Compassion will heal the world.
Whereas EGO will kill all compassion and destroy life.

Qualities Table:

Ego is associated with
Judgment, Craving, Aversion,
Stories and Games,
Greed, Violence, and Exploitation.

Compassion is associated with
Patience, Gratitude, Forgiveness,
Truth, Peace, Dispassion

Let's take our favorite subject: Hydrofracking:
Does it seem to come from Compassion?
Or does it seem to come from Ego?

(Check the qualities above if you are not sure)

A recent story in the local press:
We can look at the deer, or the geese, and say,
"Look, they are overpopulated and therefore suffering.
Let us help them by slaughtering them

Is this action truly from compassion or ego?

If some alien race conquered the earth
and said, "Humans are overpopulated, and suffering.
Let us cull the herd for their own good".
I wonder how we would react?
Would it feel like we are being helped?
Would we welcome the help?

You can begin to see why the discernment
between Compassion and Ego
is extremely important for activists to
meditate upon.

So when we truly want to help,
it is most important that
we first check our own motives.

Is it Action from Compassion,
or Action seeking Ego-Fulfillment?

Action from compassion:
no apology is ever necessary for this!
This is the best thing
any of us could ever do
at any time!

If one says, "forgive me for acting from ego",
then this is a virtuous act
and we should all offer gratefully offer forgiveness.

So, I forgive you, Walter.
And I forgive everyone.
And I forgive myself.

And I ask for forgiveness
from all of you,
for all of my unskillful actions,
which may have caused harm
either by my intent,
or through my unconsciousness or habit.

Here is a table I made,
which I offer with the best intentions
to all activists, to help you find more happiness in your life,
and that your campaigns achieve the highest success.

Source of all violence, and disease. Source of all human suffering: Progressive movement-spoilers.
Hindrances to spiritual progress.

The Good Column!
Sadhana Practice
What we should be doing with our time and energy
  • ego
    (acting to build a special story of me,
    heavy involvement in the story

  • I am the victim! I am the hero!
    OVER THERE see the villain!

    (games, roles, stories, enemy images)
  • seeing all as one
    (releasing the story, renunciation, universal compassion)

  • We are all in this together.
    We are all Divine Source Energy,
    Playing these roles. God dancing with Herself :)
  • aversion or hatred
    Demand, Must, Should, Coerce, Force, Need

  • judgment, delusion
    (strong preferences, naming things, games,
    I-likes & I-dislikes, winners & losers
    blame, shame, punish, drama)

  • greed, craving
    (complaining, taking from the other what I deserve and I want)
  • Alowing, Patience, Seeing options Gratitude, Repentance, Forgiveness

  • proper discernment
    (noticing, practicing seeing what is really there without naming
    forgiveness, repentance, gratitude)

  • generosity, simplicity, equanimity, renouncement,
    allowing practice, patience, expressing gratitude
    for whatever I am given now
  • hatred

  • Living in the past or future
    seeking something different than this

  • profit / exploitation
    (of the other, of the Earth)
  • kindness

  • Experiencing the here-now
    without attachment or resistance

  • compassion
    (in service of the other, seeing the other same as self,
    Nurture for Mother Nature)
  • Always human doing
    Satisfying sense pleasures,
    seeking mundane knowledge,
    wealth building, career building,
    seeking satisfaction of material desire

  • looking outside, working outside

  • Predicting failure, predicting gloom,
    moping around, boo hoo hoo
    life sucks, poor little me, all my power, stolen
    Building a really sad story, without hope or redemptoin,
    Working from this energy.
  • Sometimes human sitting,
    human being,
    sometimes human doing no activity,
    meditation, contentment practice
    touching what is eternal within

  • looking inside, working inside

  • Imagine what might really bring you happiness
    can become possible! Work towards what you want!
    Imagine that is is possible, effortlessly,
    perhaps through the choice of thought alone
    Imagine the best is possible for all conscious beings.
    Working from this energy.


May we all find some peace in our lives,

May we take a little time-off
from always human-doing
and enjoy some time
simply as a human-being.

May our movement grow,
may we stay connected to the
values of peace, compassion, and truth

May we take our eyes -- just for a moment
off the external world,
off our external work,

and find some time
the make an inner inquiry
to look within
to seek an inner journey
to do some of our work as inner-work.

May we all stay together.
May we all see our own mutual interdependence.
May we all nurture each other,
And act from the energy
of truth, empowerment and wisdom.

William Huston
Binghamton NY Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Binghamton Public Access TV is Open-To-Everyone!

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