Sharon Salzberg - compassion as a karmic (cause and effect) issue
- "[When we have caused harm w]e cannot undo what we have done, and we cannot escape the results of our actions. But rather than hate ourselves or dwell in helpless shame, we can dramatically change the field in which our karmic seeds ripen by developing mindfulness and lovingkindness. . .
"If we have done something inappropriate or unwholesome, and if our lives then become strongly influenced by compassion, mindfulness, and lovingkindness, the field in which are karmic seeds have been planted becomes radically altered, and this change everything. This is a transformation we can begin right now.
"We start by using mindfulness and lovingkindness to look directly at the pain we have caused others and the pain we are experiencing ourselves. We look at our shame, our guilt, our fear, and our sadness with understanding and compassion. We see the difference between saying, 'I am very wrong, and that is all I am,' and saying, 'I did something very wrong, and I feel remorse about it.' When we can experience the flow of our feelings with clarity, equanimity, and loving presence - not judgment and narrowness - our minds become like a mirror reflecting all that arises. In the course of that process, the mirrorlike mind also reflects back its true nature: natural radiance, purity, and luminosity. As the Buddha said, 'The mind is shining.' . . .
". . . Forgiving ourselves does not mean condoning everything we have ever done, or imagining that the pain of recollection will simply go away. It means understanding the large web of conditions that helped create each action, and through that understanding, gaining compassion for ourselves and others."
~ Sharon Salzberg, "A Heart as Wide as the World: Stories on the Path of Lovingkindness," Shambhala Publications, 1997.
"If we could love ourselves for hating ourselves, we would no longer be hating ourselves - we would be loving ourselves." ~ Cheri Huber
May this be of benefit.
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