Compassion Starts Here

What is the body? That shadow of a shadow

of your love, that somehow contains the

entire universe.  - RUMI

There is a magic that happens in the practices of yoga and meditation. When I go inside and turn my attention toward my body and breath, my heart softens..there is a tenderness that arises toward myself. The body contain just such wisdom – when we walk through that doorway we can walk right into the truth of our own heart, our real right now experience.

That is what it really means to be compassionate – to welcome what is here, to open to what actually IS. No small thing. We learn true compassion by offering it to our self first, and not turning away and rejecting parts of our own experience (even when we would very much prefer it were something else). When we learn to hold our self in loving kindness, we can truly offer it to others. And it is tremendously liberating be grounded in our own self love so we’re not stuck in expecting others to do that for us. We are taught in this culture to be escape artists – it is so easy to get away from our self, our feelings and even our gifts. (The Internet makes it easier than ever!) But when we bail out and distract and disconnect, we ultimately cheat our self – we don’t grow, and we can’t love fully.

The precious thing about the practice is it can break through to our hearts again and again, and we find that we really can learn  to stop struggling against our own experience. When we come home to our body and breath, we make room for all that we are. It takes practice to find this ease and grace – and it is so worth it. And it so sweet and motivating to know that we are not just doing it for our self, we are are doing it so we can be more real and loving to others, as well.

It is our body that teaches us to rest in our heart…where there is room for everything. To cultivate this in ourself is the deep work of practice. When we can think with our heart without judgement and criticism, we can truly SEE with the eyes of love. It is compassion that transforms our intelligence and intuition into the wisdom from which clarity and right action can arise naturally. From our heart.