29) Compassion, Compassion, Compassion - Meditate Now
Video Version - Guided Meditation
Audio Version - Guided Meditation
Written Transcript of the Guided Meditation
You know, I've said it a thousand times and I'm going to say it again. What I find so incredibly beautiful and fascinating about these qualities that we crave— summarized as love, compassion, and freedom— what is so profound is that these qualities are automatically recognized the more you see what is true.
The more you see what is real beyond conditioning, beyond projections, beyond wanting, and beyond fears, we start to recognize that the love we crave is here.
We start to recognize that all are worthy of compassion. We start to recognize not only how free we are, but how free everyone is and everything.
So often, in our adorable humanness, we want to go and find these things. We want to go and find love, we want to find compassion, we want to find our freedom. Not realizing that the real invitation is to just see what's true. Man, just be still! What's really happening?
I'm guessing I'm just going to talk about this for a bit before we get into the meditation, because it's important to just see, even though we've explored it before, that if you want something, you're not open to seeing what's true.
So I'll try and connect with love, compassion, and freedom by making everything be how I think it's supposed to be— to get what I want. And… that doesn't work. That's me trying to turn the world into my prisoner. If only the world did what I wanted it to do, then I could relax. If only I got what I wanted, then I can be with the love that I crave. That is just so incredibly understandable because that has been the conditioning.
We have been told our entire lives that the way that we access our inside is by controlling the outside, which includes controlling others.
In a classic way, the parent tells the child, “if only you were how I wanted you to be, then I could relax.” What's the lesson in that? Okay, so if I want to relax, then something out there needs to be how I wanted to be.
We're told this in a thousand different ways, and it's just not true. It works for a little while, it's temporary. But then the quest of trying to hold on to all of those things that we're trying to control becomes utterly exhausting.
So we're going to tap into a more authentic connection to love, compassion, and freedom. Not one that says, "I'll feel love, if..." Not one that says, "I'll be compassionate, if..." And not one that says, "I'm free, if..."
We're going to be totally present and see this moment more clearly, see ourselves more clearly, and see others more clearly.
You Are Here… In This Moment
What happens in this clarity is a profound understanding. An understanding that ultimately, in some way says, "how things are is how it's supposed to be right now." And it's quite helpful to see that how things are is not how you think things are.
Let's just recognize and acknowledge that for a moment. Right? Because it's like you could say, “how can you say that the world is how it's supposed to be?” I'm not talking about your idea of the world, what you think is happening here, there, or somewhere else. I'm talking about right now, where you are— this moment.
The understanding that starts to arise is that everything you think that's happening, that's creating this perceived lack, this absence of what you think you want, that's not actually here right now.
We innocently get so lost in our stories, so lost in who we think we are, lost in who we think other people are, lost in what we think happened, and lost about what we think may or may not happen tomorrow.
All of this is just mind stuff, which is fine, it's part of being human. But let's just get profoundly honest with ourselves about what's actually happening.
Naturally, this is the point of spiritual practice.
Be still. See what's true.
That's what we're going to invite on this meditation.
It's just a gentle stillness that allows us to come home and open up ourselves to connect with what's real and true. And what comes out of that is what comes out of it.
We don't need to go into it with an expectation again, trying to get to the future.
We can just let the truth be the truth.
Let the moment be the moment.
Let you be you, and let life be life.
Let's dive in.
Start of Guided Meditation
Find A Space for Gratitude
As always, wherever you find yourself, whether you're sitting, driving, or walking in nature, let's just invite relaxation.
If it's appropriate and you feel inspired, you can close your eyes or you can keep them open. Just invite relaxation.
In fact, let's just take a big, deep breath.
We're going to do that a couple more times, and on the out-breath, whatever it is, we're just going to let it all go just for right now.
Allow that exhale to just drop you into right now.
Another deep breath.
Can we first find a space of gratitude just for being here, right now? Sure, maybe things aren't going how you want them to go and that's fine.
But you know what? Here we are right now, alive.
There's a breath given, not asking for anything in return.
There's a heart that's beating.
There's a body that's functioning.
Even if, just for that, maybe we can just say thank you.
Let's do another big deep breath.
“I Thought I Knew So Much!”
Another thing I'd invite us to recognize is the difference between how much we think we know and how much we really know.
We can see the mind and all of its movement digging around in yesterday, running around toward tomorrow, proclaiming this, proclaiming that, wanting this, afraid of that, assuming this, hoping for that.
But what do we really know?
Not what do we think, not what do we believe, but what do we actually know?
Not what somebody else told you they know, but what do you know?
Isn't it interesting how little we know? For some, that's quite scary. “I thought I knew so much!” But as we get honest, it unravels a little bit.
You start realizing, "oh, I actually just think that, I believe that." "I want to know this, and I want to know that, but I don't really know."
The more you investigate this, what you start to recognize is that the only thing I actually know is… here and now. I am. I know, now.
Let's step into what we know for a moment here, now.
What I invite you to recognize in the here and now is that it's perfectly okay that you don't know those 10,000 things.
Do you notice this? Even though you don't know, it's okay. Sure, the mind can raise concerns about tomorrow, about ten years from now, but we're just going to come back to this moment, just be here with me.
Isn't it interesting how in one moment, you can realize you don't know something, and you think it's a big problem, but as you get still in this moment, you start to realize actually, that it’s okay?
How many times have you had that experience of not knowing something and thinking it was a huge problem, only to find out that you knew when you were supposed to know? What certainly doesn't help is the expectation that says you should know.
How often do we fall into that trap? To see that you don't know and then think you should? And then you start thinking something's wrong with you because you don't know? Everyone else seems to know.
Do they really, though?
The More I Don’t Know, The More I Have Compassion
How many times have you thought you knew only to find out that you didn't? What does this have to do with compassion? My, my, my, everything!
Especially in the sense and hear me here, look at this closely. Whenever there seems to be a lack of compassion, you think you know something that you don't really know. Proclaiming that you know when if you get really honest with yourself, you don't know.
You know, and as I mentioned in the beginning, to connect with these things— love, compassion, and freedom, it arises as you see the truth of things. And we can gently look at the most simple of examples.
One of my favorite examples is the mud. Sometimes when I'm out hiking, especially after it's been raining, I'll find myself stepping in the mud. And in a quick moment, there's that automatic assumption that the mud should not be the mud. I think I know that mud should not exist.
Got my shoes all dirty. I just cleaned them. They were looking really good, and now they're dirty.
Then, in some weird and twisted way, I think that means that I'm dirty, right? So, playfully, I can experience pain because I interpret muddy shoes as meaning I'm less than.
Then, I blame the mud for my interpretation of myself as being less than.
Isn't that interesting? Because I didn't get what I wanted, and I see myself as less than, I blame the mud. I withhold love from the mud. I feel like I can't be free because of the mud.
Is that really true, though? Is it true that the mud shouldn't be the mud? Is it true that the mud doesn't have a right to be? Is it true that the mud isn't free to be the mud?
Even though I may not like it, I wonder if there's a profound truth there that says in order for life to be life, mud must be the mud. And the only thing that was hurt in the process is who I think I am.
The imaginary image I was trying to hold up, thinking that clean shoes mean I'm better than someone else.
Meaning that clean shoes say I'm worthy. That's just a misunderstanding of what I am.
My worth and value aren't determined by clean or muddy shoes. Come on now!
Be Thankful For Things We Can’t Control
You see, what's happening here is something that, again, I've said a thousand times, is an innocent misunderstanding. I'm not seeing reality clearly.
I'm seeing my conditioning, my projections, my fears, and my wants. I'm not seeing what's true, and what happens when I see what is true? I say to the mud, "oh, my goodness, I'm sorry I blamed you for my own misunderstanding. Then, I withheld love from you.”
I withheld gratitude for life because I thought life made a mistake with mud.
Thank God I'm not in control of all of this. I would have gotten rid of the mud and screwed up the whole thing that life was doing here.
This reminds me of the experience that maybe some of you've heard me say before about walking around in a field where there are lots of horses, and I'm just blown away by how beautiful these horses are. My goodness! And as I keep walking, I take a step and land in a big pile of poo, horse poo.
Then, I think, "yup, that's part of it."
That poo goes with the horses. You can't have beautiful horses without stinky horse poo, they go together.
You see, it matters not if I don't like the poo, I'm allowed to not like the poo. I'm free not to like it.
But when I see that the beautiful horses are only possible because there's something called horse poo, I can say to the horse poo, "I kind of love you. I don't think you smell good, but I love you." Wow, this meditation got weird real quick.
Isn't that just the truth, though?
There are so many things we can look at in life, and we think they're separate from the other side.
We don't realize that what we enjoy so much about life, what we're so grateful for, what we appreciate deeply, what we love, is made possible by something that we think we don't like.
Allow An Effortless Change Through Compassion
You see the understanding here when you see it all goes together. Yeah, sometimes it's hard to see how things go together. But I would suggest that there is a profound interconnectedness in all things, whether you see it or not, to the point where maybe you might see that you don't even need to question it because it can't be any other way.
So maybe somebody acts a certain way and you can say, "I really don't understand it, but clearly it's a part of the whole thing." This speaks so much to the relationship we have with ourselves.
Maybe the things that we really appreciate about ourselves are made possible by the things we don't. Maybe somehow they go together. Maybe this can invite a little bit of compassion for yourself, for others, and for all of life.
Because I'll tell you what, this understanding that invites an energy of love that is expressed through compassion, it's what allows for an effortless change.
Because sure, maybe there are patterns and habits and addictions that you might be struggling with that might seem to bring about pain in your experience, but I would challenge you to look at those things and see if they're not made worse by your judgment of those things.
So maybe if they're going to have a chance to transform, maybe love might be the encouragement they've been waiting for— to love yourself regardless. You know what? Because given your journey, your life, your challenges, and your path, it makes perfect sense why you are the way you are.
So maybe we don't need to judge it as if it's wrong or shouldn't be.
Maybe it just makes sense.
Maybe it's okay.
My goodness, can we just take a moment and breathe into that? Maybe it doesn't mean what you think it means about you.
Just like if I step in the mud, it doesn't mean that I'm less than. Just because my shoes are dirty doesn't mean I'm not worthy. Maybe that's just a silly misunderstanding.
Maybe those parts about me that don't function, how the world thinks it should function, maybe it doesn't mean that I'm broken.
How silly would that be to look at life and say, "well, because there's mud, life is broken," "because there's something that smells bad, life made a mistake," or "because that tree is crooked, we should get rid of it."
Maybe life knows exactly what it's doing, and in our openness to that, we can extend some compassion, which in a way says, “I don't really know, but I see you. I'm sorry for blaming you for my own misunderstanding.”
Thank you for going on this journey with me today.
I really enjoyed it.