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Compassion...

"Reminding ourselves of how others suffer and mentally putting ourselves in their place, will help awaken our compassion."

Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche


Lydia writes...

Compassion I have a colleague whose partner is a doctor in a London hospital. She often receives harrowing messages from him throughout his shifts these days. The other day he described how he had just had to tell someone that their mother – a fit and healthy woman a few days prior – was now dying of Covid-19 and that they wouldn’t be allowed by her bedside in her final hours as the risk of infection was too great. When I heard this, it transported me into this person’s shoes, I felt bereft myself. Hearing about others’ suffering touches me. It moves my heart when I read about the young woman, who died of coronavirus six days after giving birth to a baby boy; when I hear of the restaurant owners’ despair at being unable to operate their businesses; when I find out that the pandemic could cause a famine of “biblical proportions” with 265 million people at risk of starvation. When we dedicate our practice to all sentient beings, wish them happiness, freedom from suffering, contentment and equanimity, sometimes it’s not so easy to really feel that in every cell of one’s body – to have a real visceral experience of that. It can become a distant, abstract “of course I want everyone to be well”-kind of thought. But this current situation affects us all in one way or another directly. Annoyance, frustration, anxiety, boredom, panic, grief, worry – almost everyone will experience some level of one of these emotions at some point. And I absolutely get it. I am there with them. Even while we’re socially distancing, separation seems to have decreased somewhat. Worldwide ceasefires are being proposed, scientists the world over are working on vaccines and cures. Every email I receive – whether from friend, acquaintance, colleague or stranger – seems to end with a wish for my well-being. Wouldn’t it be amazing if humanity was going to keep this up, if this became the start of a more compassionate age?

What has touched you this week?   

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