I am sharing this beautiful sunny morning in the Himalayas with The Dalai Lama. He is less than a mile away, in The Tibetan temple up the road here in McCloud Ganj. The compassion of His Holiness, and just knowing he exists here on earth, is a refuge for me. When I find myself in difficulty, I often ask myself "What would The Dalai Lama do?" There is no need to wait for an answer as the question itself can bring me back to peace.
For the last few days our journey has brought us into the audience of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He escaped Tibet around the same time as The Dalai Lama and is the spiritual director of the meditation centre where we have just spent 10 days in silent retreat. His message is one of compassion for all sentient beings, to relieve the oceans of suffering here on Earth, from every forest and ocean to grasslands, mountain ranges and skies, not missing out even one single ant! We listened for hour
after hour as Rinpoche massaged the clay of our hearts and minds with his words. Easing out the hardness of our fears and the bitterness of our doubts. Sometimes it felt overwhelming and hard to bear. I could only close my eyes and let his Tibetan lilt, muffled by a recent stroke, wash over me and ease my tired and aching body. I felt my resistance soften in waves, the well of my love deepen and the boundaries of possibility disappear over the horizon.
It is painful, but also easy, to feel that our compassion is limited. We only have so much to give. It is not our fault that we do this, and there is another way. One possibility is to meditate upon the wish for others to be happy and free. Starting with ourselves if we can, so coming from a place of fullness, then moving towards those we love and then those distant and unknown. Feeling into the infinite embrace of our love like this can be breathtaking, it can challenge the beliefs that we have about ourselves, and about all human potential. As the momentum of our willingness to love moves our life more and more to meet our practice, we feel the capacity of our own compassion grow in ways we had believed to be impossible. February 2017