Read deeply the following article on "Compassion, the Antidote".
The followings are excerpts from the above article which is Thay's precious advice.
(How to deal with anger)
If you are filled with anger, you create more suffering for yourself than for the other person. When you are inhabited by the energy of anger, you want to punish, you want to destroy. That is why those who are wise do not want to say anything or do anything while the anger is still in them. So you try to bring peace into yourself first. When you are calm, when you are lucid, you will see that the other person is a victim of confusion, of hate, of violence transmitted by society, by parents, by friends, by the environment. When you are able to see that, your anger is no longer there.
(How to forgive)
Forgiveness will not be possible until compassion is born in our heart. Even if you want to forgive, you cannot forgive. In order to be compassionate, you have to understand why the other person has done that to you and your people. You have to see that they are victims of their own confusion, their own worldview, their own grieving, their own discrimination, their own lack of understanding and compassion.
(How to practice understanding and compassion)
Suppose you are angry at your father. Many people are angry at their father, and yet if they don’t do anything to change it when they grow up, they will repeat exactly what their father did to them. They will do that to their own children. That is why we have a wonderful exercise of meditation that has helped so many angry sons and daughters who come to Plum Village:
Breathing in, I see myself as a 5-year-old child.
Breathing out, I hold that 5-year-old child in me with tenderness.
Breathing in, I see the 5-year-old child in me as fragile, vulnerable, easily wounded.
Breathing out I feel the wound of that little child in me and use the energy of compassion to hold tenderly the wound of that child.
But then you continue—
Breathing in, I see my father as a 5-year-old boy.
Breathing out, I smile to my father as a 5-year-old boy.
Breathing in, I see how as a 5-year-old child my father was fragile, vulnerable.
Breathing out, I feel compassion for my father as a 5-year-old boy.
When you are capable of visualizing your father as a 5-year-old boy, fragile, tender, full of wounds, you begin to understand and feel compassion. When the son is capable of practicing understanding and compassion, he no longer suffers and the father in him is also transformed. That moment, compassion is born in your heart. Now it is possible to forgive.
(Effects of compassion)
You have to be very compassionate in order not to get angry when you listen to the other person, because their speech may be full of condemnation, blame, judgment, and so on.
If you don’t nourish compassion in you, you cannot listen very long. You say, “I listen to him only with one purpose, to give him a chance to empty his heart. I am doing charity work.” But compassion will protect you from anger, and that is why compassion is the antidote for anger. With compassion you can relate to other people. Without compassion you are cut off.
If you master the art of listening deeply and of compassion, you can open the heart of the other person. If you know how to convey your feelings that are inside you through loving speech, you can help the other person understand you. That is why in order to reestablish communication, in order for forgiveness to be possible, you should learn to practice these two wonderful things—compassionate listening and the language of loving speech.
Understanding means insight through mindfulness and concentration. So, in order to attain insight of the root cause of suffering, we must stop thinking and look deeply into the suffering.
Thich Nhat Hanh
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