Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Song of a Heart in Action

H.H. Dalai Lama.
"I truly believe that compassion provides the basis of human survival."
"It is not religious business, it is human business, it is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival." 

If you want to witness the phenomenon of 'ego-less-ness in action', a current and very well known example of this can be found in the day to day life and expression of H.H. Dalai Lama.

Having had the enormous good fortune to spend time in his vicinity on a number of occasions during the past thirty years, I have had plenty of opportunities to notice the way that he affects not only myself but almost all those who come into contact with him.

The Dalai Lama is pre-eminently a very public and highly respected spiritual figure. There are few in the West and throughout South East Asia who would dispute that, and yet what exactly is it that sets Him apart?

Compassion. This word embraces the long and the short of it; the entire story.

Compassion flows spontaneously from the heart; it is transformative and healing.  It has no boundaries. It can enter places where others would fear to go. H.H. Dalai Lama is a supremely practical man, supremely balanced and supremely kind.

If there is one language that is 'universal' it would have to be the language of spontaneous and unpretentious compassion. Thus we can find this man welcomed in almost every country on the planet, save those few with vested interests.

These days we hear about and see so much of the presence, words and doings of the Dalai Lama, that we take Him a little for granted. In some ways, He has become a much-loved part of the scenery, of our 'better world,' vision and because it is 'familiar' to us we can be somewhat forgetful of just how unique a being He really is. He will undoubtedly go down as one the great figures in human history, but this will be for reasons that are not normally lauded in our modern world where money and power usually bestow the greatest fame.

Whatever the motivations of leaders today, all will shine for a while and then disappear into the dust and light from whence they came. None are exempt from the laws of impermanence. Few among them will go down in history as truly altruistic in their views and in their motivation.

Great movers and shakers die, just like the rest of us must and will. Our time in this world is limited. Although we choose to ignore it, every moment of every day is unrepeatable. Are we using our precious time well and are we living it in a way that will leave us without regrets, even if we are suddenly 'taken' tomorrow?!

The Dalai Lama is not in this world to make us 'feel' better about ourselves or to help us to like ourselves and feel loved, though that may be a side effect of His presence. He is a living, shining example of compassion in action, this is a heart in action, an outpouring that reaches across all religious, racial and ideological boundaries and even generations.

It is not the man that is being pointed to here, but the message of which He is a living embodiment and which, if embraced by us, in the right way, can lead us very directly to the portals of liberation, not just for ourselves but all sentient beings.

In his own words he has very roundly proclaimed the importance of Compassion;
“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom.
 But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion...
This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma.
 Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple.
The doctrine is compassion.
 Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need.
So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some
other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and
conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is
no doubt we will be happy.”
The madness of materialistic, modern societies, lies in their relentless flight towards self-destruction. The 'me first' mentality that dominates almost everything that modern economies stand for is completely unsustainable in its current form.

Simple, unadorned compassion, points the way back toward the true self, towards our inter-connectedness, towards what REALLY is. It is uncomplicated and very basic.

Even though many seem to have forgotten this most important quality, deep down, their inner heart yearns for happiness and knows only too well that the balance must be restored.

The word Dalai Lama translates as; 'Ocean of Compassion,' He reminds of us of our true origins and sounds a call that echoes around the entire globe.

This is the haunting song of a Heart in Action, may we add our voices and may it also become our 'song.'

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