Bodhisattva. The Art of Compassion.

18 Arms Cundi Bodhisattva. From www.fodian.net.

The renowned Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield describes the Bodhisattva life as “a life dedicated to the benefit of all.” (Taken from The Wise Heart.)

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Spending your life helping others. Showing compassion. In a perfect world, it would be. But it’s not. And we’re not. Perfect, that is. We’re human, after all. To be selfish is easy. Putting others first is not.

I struggle daily with my desire to have everything my way. But you know what? Winning that argument is a hollow victory. I don’t feel any better than I did before. It’s when I put someone else’s interests before mine that I feel good about myself. Still … I can be stubborn.

That’s the human thing, isn’t it? That’s what we’re here to learn. That the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. (Thank you, Mr. Spock.) Our time here isn’t supposed to be easy. Life is a challenge, a continuous stream of teachable moments designed to elevate our spiritual selves to a higher level. Compassion is its own reward if we stop putting our own self-interest first. That’s the challenge.

These are my beliefs, anyway. Everyone has their own. Or not. I choose to help spread good energy to offset all the negativity we find on the evening news. To make the world a better place. Otherwise, I might just crumple up and let sadness take over.

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