Sunday, October 05, 2014

Heart and Mind

Tending to lean more towards my left brain (intellect) than the right brain (emotions), I can easily see where the problem lies in most situations and can think of the remedy to it. My main problem is to apply the remedy with kindness and heartfelt compassion without coming across as harsh and unfeeling.

Right after Buddha attained enlightenment and realised the way to be free from samsaric afflictions through his wisdom, compassion arose in him to show the way of salvation to others, supposedly at the behest of the heavenly being, Brahma Sahampati. 

In the forty-five years of his ministry, Buddha had continuously demonstrated the immeasurable depths of his wisdom and compassion in instructing others on the Noble Eight-fold Path for the attainment of enlightenment. If he had not exercised patience and compassion in his undertaking, his wisdom alone would not have sustained him in this arduous undertaking. Gautama Buddha could have been a Pacceka Buddha like many others before him, knowing the taste of nirvana but unable to extoll it. 

After all, how does one sell emancipation based on profound, ineffable descriptions such as "there exists a state of non-being, non-becoming, non-birth, non-death, non-life, non-ceasing"? Only one with inconceivable merit and extraordinary persuasive skills like the Buddha can achieve this.

in his forty-five years of ministry, Buddha continuously demonstrated his wisdom that was always tempered with huge compassion for all beings in the grip of dukkha, conventionally understood as suffering. His stellar example had shown us that the light of compassion cannot be separated from the sword of wisdom. Without the sword, the light cannot penetrate the darkness. Without the light, the sword may inflict more harm than good.

I am slowly realising that it is not always about me being right. Usually, it's also about being kind, although being kind without wisdom is also dangerous. 

As I continually struggle between the inclinations of my left brain and efforts to engage my right brain, I try to keep to a daily 30-minute practice of metta (loving-kindness) meditation. Some days are better than the rest and I do feel somewhat more sensitive and patient as compared to a year ago. I am encouraged by the results and will keep at it. If I can improve by 10% every year, I can achieve complete compassion in 10 years' time!

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