Pain and Compassion

Pain and Compassion

This painting was part of a turning point in my life and is the only painting that I have done so far that is not for sale.  It hangs in the corner where I meditate every morning.

I have been a sincere meditator for many years and through my practice I was able to avoid much of the pain inherent in a life of personal growth.  When things got uncomfortable in relationships or challenging situations I could go to a still, peaceful place inside.  It was a good tool and my life was good but I felt an element of harshness and that there may be richer ways to experience life.

I am a musician and after an embarrassingly horrible gig I was awake in the night going over how awful it was.  I thought that I could get up and meditate and get to a more peaceful space but I had been reading about the Buddhist practice of Tonglen where you breathe in pain and breathe out compassion.  I decided to go into the pain rather than avoid it.  I started to understand some of the blessing of experiencing pain.  As I connected with that part of myself I felt more connected with others.  I experienced some understanding of the pain we all suffer and a door opened to compassion. As my caring nature started to grow I became a little less judgmental of others.  I feel like I became more fully human.

Since that time my practice has changed.  I invite some of the pain of life and the world into my meditation each morning and into my daily life.  I find it is a human experience, rich in opportunity for learning.  I do not feel I am in danger of being controlled by pain through this practice; by staying with pain and going deeper  it transforms into a powerful experience of my humanity and ability to feel and love.   My hope now includes the growth of compassion in myself and in all of us.

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Pain and Compassion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *