Tonight, I attended a meditation class at Perry Hall Yoga Center with my dad. I’ve been attending for a few weeks, but tonight I felt particularly compelled to write about what our teacher, Men-la, discussed.
After a 15-minute mediation in which we scanned our bodies for discomfort, focused on our breath and consciously decided to ignore our whirring thoughts every time they distracted us from following our inhalations and exhalations, Men-la talked about how we can cultivate compassion for others through meditation. When a single person or a group of people annoy or anger us, we can change our perception of that person or group and actually feel warm and friendly towards them. We use what we practice in meditation (ex. visualizing ourselves AND that person or group as white rays of light, equalizing us) to access that warm and friendly feeling towards whoever we want, whenever we want.
A compassionate (slowly, but surely) blogger:
By practicing compassion, we can begin to feel grateful to those people who annoy, or even infuriate us, because they present us with a spiritual challenge. They offer us an opportunity to better ourselves, to achieve some kind of inward peace and happiness. We deny them permission to affect our mood, to annoy us. Thus, we become the only authority in our lives, allowing no one the ability to make us feel a certain way. If we adopt this philosophy during our interactions with those people, then we not only feel lighter and happier, but also experience true, personal freedom.
Men-la invoked the wisdom of the Buddha of Compassion and explained that the many hands rendered in this sculpture represent (I think) the connection between all beings and the ways we can serve each other. Men-la also reminded us that Buddha represents universal characteristics. We can access our compassion for others, especially for those who anger us, just as Buddha can.
Buddhists believe that when we view any buddha, we receive a blessing. We absorb the characteristics of the represented buddha. So, for your viewing (and karmic) pleasure, feast your eyes on the Buddha of Compassion:
Inspired? Same here.