Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the center of compassion

I'm really excited for the launching of Charter for Compassion and feeling hopeful that by the hundreds of people who have affirmed the charter and acts of compassion will generate a need and desire to cultivate compassion in our daily lives.  I was the 610th person to pledge, and, at the time of this post, it is already in the 900s... amazing.  In the suffrage of patriarchy we must return to compassionate ways of being, of not only sharing it outward, but instilling inwards, after all, you must first begin the healing process within yourself before it can be shared with others.  We must learn to be compassionate towards ourselves.

That's a hard one, especially for womyn, who are so used to the dysfunctional programming of our society and peers.  The back-talk has become natural, sharing that unwanted behavior and passing it onto our children, our families, our friends, like an unwanted gift, but still, I find value in the unwanted, always finding the treasure in the bottom of the bin.

Someone once asked me if my view of life is too idealistic, too much focus on finding the gift or lesson in things that simply are sometimes shit.  I look at it as manure, fertilizer, transforming and growing into something beautiful, but it takes patience, and it does compassion.  I once read a quote from Lama Surya who said something to the effect of how shit is sometimes shit, it's not manure unless you know how to use it.  I do agree with that -- it reflects back to the notion of awareness.  I think it also is indicative of our inner world, of course.

We've been having some amazing conversation in ADC relative to the ethics of spellwork, it really got us all thinking about our view in magick and for me it has given me an opportunity to see what I don't like and where my foundation really is in the magickal world.  As I said, I do see value in hexing, when appropriate, but I also see it, mostly, as a last resort.  Perhaps it's been my journey through Buddhism that has enhanced my desire to cultivate compassion and looking at magickal endeavors from a loving-kindness foundation.

My practice comes from love.  It's not to de-value those who wish to hex or focus on spellworkings or magick as manifestation of will of what you desire, but it's not my focus.  My path reflects on devotion, of service to the Goddess, from a place of loving-kindness and compassion. 

It's not to say I don't have my shitty moments, moments where I say or do something that in retrospect makes me reflect on how I could have done it better (again, releasing the judgment of the "should" mentality), it is, again, a lesson, another stepping stone in my growth as a spiritual being having a human experience, as Dr. Dyer would say.

I grew up in anger.  Surrounded by anger and despising everything, happiness was part time, illusionary, not connected to anything, which always drove my desire for something more, to not buy into the stories around me of how "life sucks and then you die"... no joy, no compassion, no passion for that matter. 

Upon my journey into discovering/rediscovering the Goddess, I had more questions, which led me to my apprenticeship into Shamanism, connecting me even further to the three realms, to guides and spirit teachers that my general training in Wicca hadn't provided, at least not beyond the surface level.

It answered internal questions, connected me so deeply in the spirit world, my connection to the other realms is a direct reflection of my 2-year training with Leontine, to which I am grateful.

That training, though, left another spot, another question that began to stir as I first began meeting my guides, specifically my spirit teacher, Kwan Yin, the compassionate bodhisattva.  She planted Her seed of compassion in me, and I knew that there was still more training for me to continue with, which in inevitably led me to Buddhism.  It was here, from readings and workshops with both Lama Surya and Lama John that my questions of loving-kindness and focusing on awareness that led me to develop a compassionate awareness I had never freed before.

Speaking of compassion, I'm excited to be doing a day-long retreat with Lama John on Saturday: Access our Best Inner Resources for Service and Social Action: Meditations of Natural Wisdom and Compassion.  It's right up my ally and will only help further my role as facilitator and priestess in the work that I do.  Then Sunday I am teaching another Inner Child Empowerment class which really connects to compassion in how we facilitate the inner child's journey.

It will be a powerful weekend of going within, sharing without, and centering self.  I'm excited.

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