So tonight, I wanted to maybe bend the loving kindness in the direction of compassion, because we’ve been talking a bunch about this quality of the heart. Compassion—this capacity to meet what is difficult without following them into despair, overwhelm, or shutdown, or indifference, or the capacity to be there with the—in a way, of free heart, an open heart, a spacious heart. Or there can be creativity that would arise to alleviate the suffering. Energy, for action, you know. So I thought we could explore this together a little bit tonight.
There are four qualities of the heart. I don’t know if she talked about this last night, ___. And just to rename them maybe, because there’s a classic list of four, you know, in Buddhism, how many list there are. There ___ a number. ___ review a list. For the list of four, the four qualities of the heart, when it’s not visited or entangled by a confusion and misunderstanding. We said that the heart is naturally the Neverland care. And when this caring, this Metta, this loving kindness, this benevolent, meets what is beautiful or successful, or a good fortune, or a beautiful quality than the heart can easily rejoin. The joy, arises naturally. And when this benevolence encounter what is difficult for oneself or others, or groups, then it turns into compassion. This desire to alleviate suffering, this capacity to acknowledge and take in what is happening. And the fourth quality is equanimity. It’s the quality that make all this other quality really strong, because it keeps the heart balanced. Yeah. And you can see the beauty of this quality. How they work together. The kind of synergy. How they complement each other. Like one was only in joy, can only see what is beautiful and you know, good fortune, it’s a good compassion like, let’s go in the battlefield of the world, you know, let’s go in the difficult. It’s inviting the joy to the heart to open and bring that aspect also in some way for just caring about what is difficult. There would be an imbalance there. Yeah. And so, joy does that. And equanimity keeps all these qualities strong.
And so, yeah, let’s explore a little bit if you want. You know, if it feels like overwhelming, you’re going to lose it, or so, in some ways, doesn’t feel appropriate for you, your heart is already full in a way. You know, you can always be—just let me be music in the background or noise in the background and you can do your practice of just sitting here, breathing, feeling the hands, touching, sitting. Yeah. But if you want to, you could close your eyes. And again, almost as always here, become aware of the body sitting here. See if you can allow the body and the mind to be just as they are right now. A little tired. A little tender. A little numb. Or a little calm, spacious, peaceful or slightly uncomfortable. Whatever is there can it be exactly as it is just for now. Can we relax into this moment here? And let the earth carry, hold the earth that we are. Earth holding earth. Earth. Letting the air nourish us. And if you want, with your imagination, you could visualize some kind of a little bonfire, it’s like that a—camping fire. Bonfire. Like—that would be sweet on a summer night like tonight. Then the sound of the little fire, like crick—I don’t know the words in English for this field of experience. Crackling wood. Under the stars, imagine you sitting there. Then we’re good friends. Or us, sitting around the fire, just silently. Being contemplative. Experiencing the light, soft warmth of the fire. And if you want to, you could imagine this fire, gentle, beautiful fire inside your heart, or in your heart area, releasing warmth in a light—if your heart was a bonfire, small one, camping size. Again, imagine if you want each in-breath provides fuel for the fire, oxygen, nourishing the fire. Beautiful flames. Each in-breath nourishing the fire, each outbreath, it’s the warmth being offered, sent out. This is the fire of compassion here. It’s a powerful fire, which can turn suffering into fuel, into love, and compassion and care, and friendliness, and benevolence, which is of well-being.
So as you sit here, breathing in and out, if you think of a difficult moments of the day today, just let them come in with the in-breath, and nourish this fire, which is able to transform difficulties into care and love. If you remember ___ moments of the day, ___ and pains, physical or mental. If you want that your own rhythm with the in-breath, you can bring this in the heart area, and let the fire of your heart completely transform the worries, sorrows into radiant life of care, of presence.
In each hard breath you can release, offer, and radiate, compassion and care, and the beauty of the loving heart.
If comes to mind that difficulties of others around you in your life or around you here, let, with the in-breath, these thoughts and images and impressions feed, nourish this fire of compassion. If you want to, you can let this fire of compassion become the archetype, the great, furnace of fire of compassion that your heart become the heart of ___, who can hear all the cries of the joy and sorrow. And that shrink or shutdown, as if it is, if you want to, you can turn your imagination, you can—only if it feels right. You can let your images, your groups of people, who are experiencing difficulties, of great difficulties. And let the fire become ___ and radiate powerfully also. Its warmth and light.
Allowing the heart and fire of compassion to completely transform all the impressions, its ___, images, difficulties—completely transform them into care, great care. Unconditional love. Assistance. Courage.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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