When we hear the word “compassion” we may think of it as a nice sentiment, showing empathy and kindness toward another. In the Buddhist tradition the ideal takes on a much more sophisticated meaning, complementing what we have learned from quantum physics. The Buddhists describe compassion as a loving participation in the world. Some say it is “the practice of enlightenment” itself, something we can cultivate in daily life based on our true understanding of the world and our relationship to it. The Boddhisattva, one dedicated to awakening the heart and mind, understands that love of self and love of others are one and the same. Out of this intuitive understanding that all things are ONE, compassion then represents the supreme expression of human freedom.
Compassion is not only the field but is also the intention we put into the field. The choice that an individual makes out of free will directly impacts not only humanity as a whole, but the entirety of the universe. The reverberation of our actions through time and space is karma. The perception of selflessness associated with Buddhist compassion is actually a divine selfishness where two selves are served simultaneously – the small self of the individual and the greater Self of the collective all.
Compassion is what connects all things. It is this understanding of the relatedness of all things, as well as acting from that relatedness, that may offer the key to our spiritual advancement as individuals and citizens of the universe.