In my lunchtime meditation class yesterday, the teaching was focused upon compassion. Some might feel that compassion is an easy concept to grasp and for others, not so much. While I lean toward the former, there inevitably are times when demonstrating compassion can be challenging at best.
It is easy to find compassion when watching an emotional video shared on Facebook or viewing the ASPCA commercial with the sad Sarah McLaughlin music in the background. The tough one is finding compassion for the ones who, on the outside, seem undeserving of such grace.
In Buddhism, compassion is a fundamental virtue to be practiced without discrimination. It is thought that if you have suffered in your own life, you can reflect upon this experience and garner compassion for others who are in the midst of their own personal challenges and hardships. Sounds fair, right? It is until you need to practice on a co-worker who you don’t trust, nor especially like. Or someone who has opposing views to yours. Or a family member who has contributed to your own suffering.
A lot to ponder and of course, like all other virtues, it is something we practice because at the end of the day, no one is an expert (unless you are a Buddha!)
I appreciate my time to meditate and the lessons I learn in this regard. Each time, I walk away with a renewed perspective and often the delusions spinning through my head prior to the class are put to rest. And while virtues such as compassion and patience are a work in progress, being mindful of the work is all a part of the journey.