How do we practice compassion? The six perfections (Sanskrit paramitas) are instructions for practicing compassion. Generosity has various methods, like giving money, shelter and food, giving time, giving kindness, listening non-judgmentally, giving love, and giving teachings of the dharma (means to achieve lasting happiness). Patience and tolerance are to counter anger and aggression without suppressing them. The more we practice this as a society the more we find harmony, respect and trust. Without patience and tolerance, the more there is suspicion and fear. Ethical discipline provides a moral compass for our lives rooted in honesty and integrity. Perseverance is not giving up virtuous activities, but completing them. Concentration helps keep us on track, to not waver and get lost. It improves our attention and understanding, especially the pain and suffering of ourselves and others. Wisdom brings all the previous five attitudes and activities to a deeper level more in tune with reality. This is the wisdom realizing emptiness. With each of the first five we train to see all three domains (agent, action, and object) as empty. For example, to see “I”, “give”, and “love” as empty of existing objectively. Just to think this way even without much understanding brings tremendous merit for future happiness.
Forgiveness is powerful medicine. It is a healthy lifestyle worth living on par with healthy food, exercise, yoga, compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and meditation. Forgiveness opens our heart both to ourself and to others. It brings […]
Another effective method to reduce anger involves imagination or visualization. Again we try to recognize anger early, when there is irritation, frustration, fast heartbeat and breathing, getting quiet or the opposite, loud. Often there is […]