"That's me singing," Charlie says. "That's me playing the water drum, too. If you know my song, you know Charlie. Everyone has a song. God gives each a song. That's how we know who we are. Our song tells us who we are.
~ from WISDOMKEEPER by Steve Wall and Harvey Arden
For compassion to move from feeling to action it must practice the art of power. Spiritual action requires an alliance of love, power, and justice. As Paul Tillich said: in both interpersonal and political relationships love, power, and justice are inseparable. Without love, power becomes tyrannical and justice is only a name for the rule of strong. Without power, love is reduced to sentimentality and justice to an impotent ideal. Without justice, love is a perverse dance of domination and submission.
~ Pam Keen in "Spirituality and Health" Summer 2002
Non-violence is a power which can be wielded equally by all—children, young men and women, the elders, provided they have a living faith in the Source of Love and have therefore equal love for all humankind. When non-violence is accepted as the law of life it must pervade the whole being and not be simply applied to isolated acts.
FDR left a handwritten speech in a drawer when he died (to deliver at the UN). He wrote, "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships—the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace... The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."
The Hebrew word for compassion comes from the same root as the word womb, suggesting that compassion makes us womb-like, nurturing of life. With compassion we enable all things to grow into their most beautiful and complete form.
This tenderness for life, bodhichitta, awakens when we no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence. It awakens through kinship with the suffering of others. We train in the bodhichitta practices in order to become so open that we can take the pain of the world in, let it touch our hearts, and turn it into compassion.
~ from THE HEALING POWER OF BODHICHITTA by Pema Chodron
Compassion is not an invitation to non-action or complacency...nor a license to sit idly, viewing the events of life from a perspective of non-involvement, numbness or denial. Becoming compassion is your invitation to immerse yourself fully into the experience of life, whatever the offering, from a place of non-judgment. Serving simultaneously as the path you may become, as well as the gift you offer to others, compassion is only possible in the healing of polarity: ie., transcending your personal polarity while remaining in this world of polarity.
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