August 27, 2015

How our Compassionate Heart/Mind Affects the World.


“Find inner peace, and thousands around you will find their salvation.” ~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

In our modern age we live in a disconnected state of heart/mind.

We might think we are more interconnected than ever, with Facebook, texting, Instagram and so on. But that is a kind of external connectedness through gadgets. Real connectedness takes places in the heart/mind.

Sometimes our heart/mind is clouded over with feelings of loneliness, separateness, and disconnection. Through practicing meditation we can let go of these clouds and start to rediscover our true heart/mind. Within our true heart/mind we start to realize that we are all interconnected already.

Heart/mind is described as space in many old spiritual traditions. This means that our true heart/mind is open, without any boundaries, just like space. Our true mind/heart is full of compassion because we have become more open minded. The more we practice meditation, the more we begin to realize that we are all in the same space. The space I am sitting in right now is the same space you are sitting in.

Lets take a closer look at this.

I am in my office right now typing away to create this blog. You might say that the space in my office is different then the space in your house. Now let’s break down the walls of my office and your house. Now can we distinguish what was my space and your space? No of course not. Opening our minds is like breaking down the walls that separate us. By investigating the spaciousness of our heart/mind, we realize that we are all interconnected.

Many spiritual traditions also say that: “I am the universe and the universe is me.” We can therefore say that our bodies are separate, but our true heart/mind is always interconnected.

Now we come to the juicy bit. If our true heart/mind is always, and has always been, interconnected, then that also means that whatever I think will affect everything, the entire universe!

In Japanese Tendai Buddhism there is a teaching that says there are 3,000 realms in one mind.

“This is the idea that the action of one’s mind in a single instant contains ‘3,000 realms,’ or the entire universe, and therefore if our mind acts it can affect the entire cosmos.” ~ Right View, Right Life, Insights of a Woman Buddhist Priest by Joko Kohno.

Therefore if I let go of my anger, worry and fear, if am more grateful and compassionate, then my heart/mind becomes more calm, loving, and at peace. In turn, everything and everybody can benefit from this. In other words, through something as simple as meditation, we can create harmony and healing in the world.

On the other hand, if my heart/mind is full of anger, worry, and fear, not being grateful and compassionate, then this will create an agitated heart/mind which will have a negative effect on the world.

Through meditation, we can nurture an open spacious heart/mind, where we will not feel lonely, separate, or disconnected. In this way, we can hopefully one day realize internal happiness which in turn can heal the world around us.



Tonglen & Egolessness: Developing Confidence in Kindness & Compassion.


Author: Frans Stiene

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Anne Wu

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