Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reflections of Compassion

When we meditate, we enter the mind of Christ by entering into meditative states of awareness of all that we hold in common as human beings. We sit, silent and still, and learn the intimate texture of thoughts, feelings, memories, and bodily sensations that all of us as human beings experience. In doing so we drop down into levels of oneness with others that transcends the differences between us. I am not you. But if I have intimately tasted my own aloneness, my own experience of thoughts arising and passing through my mind, my own breathing-then I already have in my intimate awareness of myself an intimate awareness of you.

This knowledge is not that of the words written on the pages of my mind, rather, it is a knowledge of the human experience of the mind itself. The experience is not simply my personal feelings about this or that. It is rather the intimate understanding of the texture of my own heart as feelings play across its surface, flow through it, and alter its state from one moment to the next. Grounded in this self-knowledge, I am grounded in awareness of oneness with you at a level that precedes and transcends the differences between us. I know you with an empathatic, heartfelt knowledge of what it means to be a human being.

It takes time, but little by little we enter the social dimensions of the mind of Christ in awakening to how perfectly one we are with everyone living and dead. As this awareness slowly seeps in, we are able to grow, day by day into a more patient, gracious recognition and acceptance of and gratitude for others. Little by little the graciousness of Christ’s emphatic mind of oneness with others is translated into a thousand little shifts in the way we think about people, our attitudes toward them, and the way in which we actually treat them day by day.

As we learn to see ourselves through the eyes of Christlike compassion we start to see others through the eyes of Christlike compassion as well. In learning to be compassionate towards ourselves as precious in our frailty, we learn to be compassionate toward others as precious in their frailty.”
                                          ~ James Finley, Christian Meditation, p. 96

I've come to believe that compassion is a crucial component in glorifying God and bringing glimpses of His Kingdom to the world.  Jesus lived with great compassion-healing, preaching, teaching and extending himself out to the margins of society where many wouldn't dare to go. To be instruments of His peace and love it's essential as we grow with God to reflect Christ's compassion to others. As important and central as that is in our mission towards service to others, I think sometimes it's often overlooked to invoke that same compassion we extend to others to ourselves as well. It seems that sometimes we are more willing to forgive others and less willing to forgive ourselves. When we harbor guilt, feelings of unworthiness, etc. against ourselves that can only serve as a stumbling block in our mission to help others.

We become imprisoned by our own illusions about ourselves instead of being liberated from them. God offers us full liberation and redemption from our sins! As Christians, I feel it's important to take hold of the offer God holds out in His hands and allow Him to break the chains that bind us from serving Him more fully and living a more joy-filled and productive life. In fact, it should be one of our prerogatives! God wants us to find pleasure in Him, joy in Him. How can we find joy in God if we are trapped by our own prisons we have built around our hearts?

I love this passage from Finley because I can relate to so much that he says. Contemplative prayer, or Christian meditation,  has been an invaluable experience for me in so many different ways. To experience the unfolding of your consciousness, to see more clearly with objectivity your thoughts and realize them for what they are...oftentimes impermanent illusions built upon the shaky foundation of attachments and other impermanent illusions, is transforming. It allows one to enter into and experience a new diminsion of God's reality. When stillness of one's mind is acheived and all of one's desire stretches towards the depths of God and is then enveloped in union with His love and peace...one does not walk away unchanged! It is also a beautiful way to realize profoundly the interconnectedness that we have with all of life that surrounds us. To treasure it, for it is a manifestation of God's glory, it is His love breathed out.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for bringing us safely into a new day. I pray that You guide our hearts to an ever deeper and fuller understanding of Your love, Your Grace, Your compassion. May You illuminate the areas in our lives where we need to come humbly before You in repentence and help us walk as free sons and daughters of God so that we might reflect Christ's compassion and love fully and boldly in all the corners of the world.

May we give You, and You alone, all glory, honor and praise.

In Jesus' precious name,


  1. I loved the Post.

    I think it is within us all, be us Christian or any other denomination or faith to reach this Nirvana of which he speaks.

    The truth is if you don't know compassion, empathy, sympathy or love then you haven't evolved.

    Without scripture I just felt it to be the right thing. Through scripture others do need to find it.

    Hold on to the hand of your child and see what true love is then share that same feeling to others... Is all I say,
    Bless you Jessica

  2. KM...so glad you enjoyed the prayer, thank you for your comment...~abundant blessings


    glad you liked the post :) I agree...children have a wonderful way of expressing love in a purity that escapes most of us adults. They seem naturally attune to some of the divine characterstics of God...love...unwarranted compassion...their tenderness never ceases to amaze me! Too bad the things of the world oftentimes corrupts the love which so naturally blossoms in their hearts. As a parent, I long to cultivate and nourish my children's sense and expression of compassion and love. I believe compassion is a bridge to peace and understanding...that transcends politics and religion...if only we could all reflect more compassion for ourselves and eachother...this world would look a lot different!

  3. Beautiful prayer, but then you always include a beautiful prayer with your posts. Every time I think 'oh that one is my favorite', you share another.
    Regarding your post in general, you speak the truth. One needs to be able to love themselves and treat themselves well before they can expect to love someone else or treat another person well. For some, that is difficult, especially if they try to accomplish that without a Higher Being in their life.

  4. James Finley is another favorite teacher of mine. Love the line, “It takes time, but little by little we enter the social dimensions of the mind of Christ in awakening to how perfectly one we are with everyone living and dead.” We are like that beautiful flower unfolding little by little. It does indeed take time and daily fidelity to meditation and prayer to open fully to compassion.

  5. Reading this reminds me of something I was discussing last night.

    "How can you expect people to respect you when you do not respect yourself, and how can you love someone when you do not love yourself?"

    Sounds harsh but it was a topic of discussion not a statement to the person. In essence if you cannot see for yourself or have the ability to express those feelings and emotions then you reciprocate the negative energies and forces pushed to yourself unto others.

    The points you have raised have made me think so much more about it.