ER: What makes a compassionate city/community
In the spirit of practicing a more selfless regard for my comforts, conveniences or needs, I find I experience more peaceful contentment, and most of all, that my heart becomes softened, more tender, and more loving when helping others. When reaching out to others, it helps remove being too self-absorbed that, as an only child, I find an easy tendency in which to slip. It makes challenges more lightly borne by reducing the focus to dwell on them. But most especially, I feel I am a more agreeable, kinder and better human being with which to share the planet. I have experienced that the unplanned, random kindness of smiling and offering “Hello” or lending an ear to a passerby, can touch another human being deeply. For me, this reflects that others may rarely experience simple, positive social interactions or everyday comforts in their lives that most citizens enjoy, given the contentious discords, war, refugee displacements and great sufferings that are widely present in the world.
So whether a smile, friendly exchange, or kindly, helping hand to a neighbor, if sincerely rendered from within the recesses of the heart, it seems very favorable that a natural, gentle progression of kindness and compassion, through how we treat one another, is surely to blossom from within, coalescing among neighbors and expanding among community.
ER: How do you personally measure compassion?
A tenderness or shift in how I feel begins to stir within my heart when my I observe or view a photograph or other depiction–or when I am listening to or reading other disclosures about person(s), or animal(s) or situations where there is obvious distress, discomfort, laboring under the duress of an arduous, physical undertaking, physical or mental oppression or abusive circumstances, mistreatment or other inequitable or highly challenging situations. I believe how I feel inside is how I respond towards another human being or towards societal situations.
From that deep, inner stirring, unsettling, discomfort, sadness or even anger that may be aroused in what feels is from the innermost sanctum of myself wherein lies the keenest, most sensitive barometer that purely, immediately and deeply elicits tenderness, sensitivity, and, I believe, the truest sense of my spirit at it’s core–this feels to be the source within my being by which I am able to gauge either the presence of compassion or when nothing or very little is felt, where compassion is lacking.
ER: What do you do to contribute to creating a more compassionate world?
The preparation begins, foremost, within myself. I feel compelled to introspect and examine my behavior towards others, towards situations–to understand whether I am ‘reacting’ or whether I am ‘responding’ to circumstances. How I feel seems to be an important measure of the presence or the lack of compassion within myself. Without the conscious awareness and an integral connection within myself, it does not feel it would be possible for it to be expressed.
I believe through self-examination of my thoughts, feelings, and finally the actions or words spoken that result–these reflect back an awareness whether I am a being with compassion for others or lack it. Whether I am genuinely sensitive to others or lack being so. Even prejudices or misconceptions I may not realize I held, interestingly make themselves apparent through this introspection.
When living with an engaged awareness and practice of compassion within myself, I feel it is then that I may be able to express compassion within the circle of family, of township, of country, and as a citizen within the global community.
~Vishwarupa (Edie Wu) – Camarillo, CA
Inspired by spiritual and esoteric practices that illuminated understanding of an inseparable unity of humanity, earth and harmony within the self, Vishwarupa honors with deep gratitude her spiritual mentors and teachers who have offered sublime awakening, practical understanding, and compelling guidance that would help recognize and bring forward the innate human values that lie within us all. Encouraged in the integral application of those values in everyday living, she continues to nurture increasing appreciation and respect that honors all nations, tribes and peoples of global humanity and livingkind.
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Categories: What Makes a Compassionate City?