[Yesterday, we had a remarkable kick off to our Interfaith Compassion Challenge. In case you missed it, you can view video clips here. Below is a collage of the feedback we received after the call, which itself feels like a living sermon -- What is a world without mirrors? Just as we've come together around conquest and crisis, can we come together around compassion? How do we deal with our heartbreak? How might I embrace your wound? What are our practices of compassion? Could we practice compassion with a telemarketer? Are compassion and joy related? Thank you, all!]
I was touched by ...
I was touched by the weave of the whole. Abundant blessings of story, song, poem, dedication of merit. The story about the rabbit farmer who cut himself, got infected and got antibiotics so he could share them with the woman who worked with him. That profound, creative activism. We Shall Overcome, thank you, Nimo. The Dalai Lama saying that he will remember his Christian friend when he is dying. Cynthia Li's erudition and grace. The uninterrupted flow. The uniquely woven fabric. Diversity of sharing the diversity of song and story as a beautiful collage. Wise words. Sukhi's chanting, and his practice of serving and so seeing the divine in others.
Just being in the same sacred virtual space with so many from around the world warmed my heart. The story of the rabbit tender made my heart twinge. That we must have a wound to heal another's wound. I loved the singing! all the stories shared. And I laughed so much at the Dalai Lama and Reverend Tutu. Rev Heng Sure's smiling way - his dedication of merit and unified us all. The Persian song made my spirit smile. I was touched by the grace and support which emerged in response to technical difficulties. Nimo’s sincerity. I was so incredibly moved by the video and song Nina sang. I keep thinking about the opening song and the faces in the video.
Inspired to see everyone I encounter with new eyes. I especially loved the sentiment from Pierre, on creating the opposite of negative news and the theme that carried through on transmuting then transforming and putting out that positivity of compassion and love. Nina’s music video touched me deeply. Venerable Karma Lekshe explained Buddhist compassion practices in the most accessible way I have heard. Let’s make friends with those who are different than us -- bubble tea is fun to share! Rabbi Ariel's story will stay with me forever.
The spontaneity in the personal expressions of care and compassion shared in the breakout rooms. The urge for being the good in the world that resides in you, me and us. The grace and support which emerged in response to technical difficulties.
Tangible feeling of connectedness….with human kind. An echo of beauty, calm, and joy. I cried from beginning to end.
A key learning for me was that ...
Dedication of merit -- it was so cool! The wound. How to be vulnerable to my students and let them feel seen. Balancing. Moving from oneness et oneness has brought me to pondering.
Realising joy and laughter is the expression from our hearts. And when our heart speaks it connects us …it’s the way of happiness. Letting go of expectations and yet stilll acting with intentional Compassion. Blood to blood infection to share antibiotics and save lives.
We are ONE. The energy for positive outcomes in this very broken world.
How the original Oneness is expanding in the form of multiplicity and stories for that the Second Oneness will be a rich one, filled with different flavors and colors … Lekshe stating patience as an opposite to anger. I always thought we had to make the jump from anger to forgiveness immediately … Sukhi saying he thought there was a vibration in the words of a prayer … Practice compassion with telemarketers!
The idea we can take in all that's negative to re-cycle it into positive and light and compassion. Joy and laughter as a form of compassion: Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama having fun together: why do we live in cultures where "sacrifice" is so highly regarded? From Oneness to Oneness. Compassion as watering the plants, the seeds of peace. "Just like me" compassion practice. The three practices of Sikhism: prayer (cleanse my mind); seeing the divine in the other; serving the divine in others.
Bless those who curse you… just the thought that the 19 year old in the anecdote was on the side of the "bad guys" as a "good guy" in disguise, made all my good/bad Hollywoodesque division of things fall to pieces. And just the courage!!
I can bless in my small circle; I am blessed to be a blessing. Listening is an act of love.
What I'm still sitting with is ...
I will be thinking all night about healing another person’s pain – both literally and figuratively. How to be a part of a small powerful few to create great change for good? Compassion pierces the veil of ignorance. How to share in other peoples' wounds, how to best hold in my heart all those who are hurting, and how to expand on the connections from this sacred space and enable the power of our coming together to reach out to others and create a tsunami of compassion and loving kindness, the likes of which the world has never seen, and which it so desperately needs? I am sitting with how much courage I need to act on compassion.
I lost an important family member this past week so I am sitting with the feeling of joy after the session today. The reminder that in practicing compassion we can expand our awareness and lessen our egocentricity resounds.
When ego begins to dominate for whatever reasons, it gets difficult to get back to the compassion that exists in me. It also becomes difficult to differentiate between sympathy, empathy and compassion and actions often begin to come from a space of the former rather than the latter. How to work with Ven Karma Lekshe Tsomo's challenge to develop compassion for the enemy/oppressor. Yes, I believe that destructive people are the result of their experiences in life, but I am not sure how to prevent them from harming other people, society, or the world.Rabbi Ariel Burger really touched me with his definition of Spectator vs. Witness. He asked and I am sitting with his question, "What do we do with our heartbreak?"
Compassion is always the choice – large the challenge, larger the choice. I am continuing to investigate the question asked for the break out rooms and how to keep alert to this when I go about my life outside my home and outside my comfort zone. How to slow down to open up to more compassion seeping out of me?
I'm sitting with the over-arching question of why communicating on this deep level seems so hard in life outside this structure. I'm watching very carefully how the design supports deep, meaningful and safe inquiry and how that inquiry remains satisfying and continues.
Little ways to be compassionate. Being kind to self and to all. In this world of mirrors, seeing me in others, I see others in me as I look in my mirror. Self compassion must be compassion for others, even more deeply than I could offer by trying to give solely outwards.
It was all amazing and really was much more than I expected. I'm smiling as I write this. I was very tired before the call but there was a very nice energy during the meeting, I felt refreshed afterwards. Sending a big bow and big gratitude to the coordinators and volunteers for launching us with such beautiful balance. I feel enriched. This is like a surprise ‘good news channel’ welcoming us to life we want to wake up for share and enjoy. Thanks for increasing gender balance. It's heartwarming. The stories the speakers told were so diverse and meaningful. The pod was incredibly and smoothly well orchestrated.
Only an invisible army of good-hearted souls could bring such an incredible gathering together. I am so happy and grateful that so many participants get to experience this and the endless ripple effects that keep growing.
It made my day – I wasn't sure what to expect, and it felt so powerful to know that there are so many of us giving this a chance, all over the world. It was a beautiful emotional gathering and so heartening to know that there are so many like-minded people in the world wanting to raise the vibration on the planet to one of love, kindness and compassion. It amazes me that the volunteers so effectively orchestrate a program involving so many different People of Faith and Compassion AND conduct a break out followed by individual responses in two hours on Zoom. The energy inspired me to look within deeply for the rest of the day. Drops of water flowing in a river going to the Ocean – the One.
I thought I needed to be committed to this experience. Now I know I want this commitment.
I am still sitting with my transformational heart looking into a new world of consciousness and compassion that creates the environment of an interfaith for the new generation.
Thank you, all.