Thursday, November 17, 2011

Compassion & Equanimity

I had the lovely opportunity to study with Beryl Bender Birch today at Northport Yoga Center.

Interestingly, during philosophy discussion, she touched upon just the topic I blogged about yesterday (it's funny how that sort of thing always seems to happen, huh? No coincidences!). She warned, be careful about convincing yourself you are spiritually superior. Just because we recycle, this does not make us "better." Everybody is on their own path, and those paths may not run parallel to ours. This does not make them wrong. Not all beings are operating with the same amount of awareness. And "more awareness" is not synonymous with "more advanced." For example, Beryl says, when you are pulled over waiting for somebody to pull out of a parking space and you think it's very clear that is what you are doing, but somebody else comes up and slides right into that parking space before you, try not to get so frustrated questioning loudly "why is this person not as evolved as I am?!?" These experiences are meant to evoke compassion, Beryl teaches. Compassion is spawned by gratitude. Think of how lucky you are to be as aware of yourself, your influence, your surroundings, whereas other people may not be. think of how lucky you are to be you.

So while I might experience anger when I see somebody dumping their fast food garbage out the car window, I don't mean to be judgmental. Because that is not yogic either... spiritual superiority or arrogance doesn't suit anybody well. The paramount purpose of blogs such as the one I wrote yesterday is to make people think, not to insult. But maybe as a result of what I posted, somebody, somewhere, will re-consider a more wholesome approach; by which I mean, a perspective which takes into account an entire community or an entire system, such as the future generations and our planet. In the meantime, all we can do, is cultivate as much compassion as possible for our environment and for its inhabitants, irrespective of their "evolutionary level."

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