Nov 20, 2003 - On Compassion

November 20, 2003 Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
Wisdom of our Elders

Question: How can I deepen compassion?

Aaron: My love to you all. I am Aaron. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you here tonight.

You ask how you can deepen your compassion. You cannot. Your compassion is already limitless. But like the sun on a cloudy day it becomes covered up and inaccessible. The question then is, what blocks access to that unlimited compassion? How is the blockage best released?

If you think you have to deepen your compassion, you're saying there is something wrong, which you must fix. Here you are already moving further from compassion and into fear. The contraction of such effort blocks access to innate compassion. When you note how such fear is old habit energy, and when you greet this habitual  thinking with kindness that resolves not to get caught in the stories of fear, you begin to open to the truth of your innate compassion..

This commitment, not to get caught in fear's stories but to reconfirm your own innate compassion—this helps to dissolve the fear, just as the sun dissolves the clouds and mist. Then the light of your compassion can shine forth. The biggest difficulty is that when fear's contraction comes, the ego says, "I'm going to fix this," rather than noting, "fear has arisen and I choose not to get caught in fear's stories but to return to spaciousness and clarity, to practice compassion rather than fear."

Usually the fear response is just habit—a barricade or armor, you have put on to protect the tender heart. But when you look into the nature of this heart you see how radiant it is and that you don't need to protect it. The habitual walls you place around it are all that prevents its light from shining out into the world.