“We become compassionate not from altruism which denies the self for the sake of the other, but from the insight that sees and feels one is the other.” ~Huston Smith
I want to write something and my heart just wants to put it out there while the fearful aspect of my mind suggests we may need some facts; some hard core science. Well, I honored that second voice for a while, surfing the net and hearing all the criticism that might be tossed at me for quoting Greenpeace or for neglecting to do so. There is no way to be right here. So I’m dropping the right and returning to my heart.
Here’s what I experience. Compassion is born of an open heart. An open heart knows sorrow and joy in equal proportions. The more open the heart, the more sorrow and joy. That can be a wild open ocean sometimes, so we batten down the hatches of the heart and return to the safe harbor of the judging ego-mind. I know. I have a well-used slip in that harbor.
Walking, yesterday, I was enchanted by the beauty of the day: birds singing their hearts out, trees dancing in the breeze, raptors soaring on thermals, blossoms raising their faces to the sun. Then, a wave of sadness came over me without explanation. My mind went through the files: lost love, who died, list of regrets, etc. But nothing, could explain the depth of this sorrow.
“It’s the sadness of the world.” I heard these words whispered in my ear. I heard them only in my heart. I don’t know how I heard them. I just did.
My thoughts ran defense: “What am I to do with the sadness of the world? Has it come to take up residence in me? What am I supposed to do? I don’t know how to fix it!”
My wiser self responded: “Know it for what it is and let it wash through. It’s the only way to keep the heart open. Don’t head for the dock.”
A moment later, I noticed sorrow had moved on. Or had it? Maybe it was just that my attention had been captured by an iris in bloom.
It’s all going on at once, this joy and this sorrow; Beauty in its splendor, all the currents of the heart’s seas.
An open heart is more receptive to the heart of cosmos, is an open channel for it, becomes it (and yes, that’s a double entendre.)
Sometimes I wonder if it’s true. Is there the original Divine Mind or Universal Intelligence of which I am a creative expression and as such I am both one with and separate from that Source?
If so, if it’s true, then I am the whale and the whale is me. I am the dolphin and the dolphin is me. For when I look upon nature, when I look upon others, I see myself and my heart sings with joy for what has been created. At the same time, my heart cries for what is being destroyed.
That’s what happened when I saw a certain video this morning. (I could not find a way to embed it here, but I can give you the link.) Without any interpretation, it’s a beautiful celebration of life, nature, planet and the music is as emotionally evocative as the film, if not more so.
Yet, in my state of mind (and heart) and in light of what’s happening, the dumping of toxic waste into the ocean, and radioactive rain falling into the Pacific because of the disaster at Fukushima, I could not help but think – (said with sarcasm, “Gee, I’m sure glad there’s a lot of ocean to take the radioactive waste before it gets to me in California. Thank God for that big blue hole out there where things can be buried, so that I don’t have to know they exist anymore.”
And what am I burying?
What happens when I dig it up?
What kind of courage does it take to keep the heart open in light of all the tragedy?
(Some would have me mention the human loss as well. Yes, I see it. Maybe I’m just not strong enough to go there yet. Maybe that’s your work and mine is with the wild wonder of Nature. I don’t pretend to know. I follow my heart.)
I watched this video and felt my heart open to the heart of the Source of all creation and the deep deep sadness for the potential loss of what “I” had created and what has pleased me for so long.
What have I created?
This video shows sheer beauty.
YOU are sheer beauty.
It’s a big beautiful, mostly blue, planet and we are all in this together.
Click the link below to watch the video. (Right click if you want to see it in a new window or tab. Otherwise it will pop you out of this blog post. )
“And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up. -Charles Dickens
Copyright © April 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved