This is Cecil, the lion slayed by American dentist Walter James Palmer.
In his book,Fieldnotes On the Compassionate Life, Mark Ian
friend once told me of visiting the Dalai Lama in India and asking him for a
succinct definition of compassion. She prefaced her question by describing how
heartstricken she’d felt when, earlier that day, she’d seen a man in the
streets of Dharamsala beating a mangy stray dog with a stick.
"Compassion," the Dalai Lama told her, "is when you feel as
sorry for the man as you do for the dog.
My Job Here Is Done
The last question on the final exam I just gave
for undergraduate Music Therapy students in aMedical and Rehabilitative Music Therapycourse was:
What are 2 things you learned in this course that touched you deeply either
as a person or a music therapist (or both), and why?
The answers below are representative of the majority of responses I
received, and touchedmedeeply when
I read them. (Okay, I cried.) I know from a semester of work and correcting
their final exams that they learned the academic material.
For the New Year or Any New Beginning:
Several years ago I read an article on the internet about choosing one word as inspiration and motivation for making changes in the new year, and I apologize to the unknown author for not being able to credit him or her. I've lost the article in the webosphere, but the concept in all it's beautiful simplicity remains. I've often used the practice with myself and clients since then, and pass it on to you today.
Instead of making a New Year's resolution (you know how those tend to go.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation
- Lao Tzu
Cameron Gray,The Neverending Dreamer
I was asked a question as a result of that quote, which led to another question...
Q. There seems to be an implication that if I need to transform, then there’s something wrong or broken with me...
Not at all! Do we label water as “wrong” when it transforms into a gas or solid? Is a caterpillar broken?
And the day came
when the risk to remain
tight in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took
- Anais Nin
How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement
Of light against its being,
Otherwise we all remain
I just read a great posting on self compassion fromhttp://www.UrbanMonk.net
.That path - the one that leads from self blame/criticism/hatred/shame to self compassion and kindness - is one I've certainly been on, and more often than not I'm encountering others on that same journey through my work and in the world. Here are some resources for the trip:
Dr. Kristen Neff has a book,Self-Compassion, and a website:
Dr. Rick Hanson has a book,Buddha's Brain,
.....till then, if you're reading this, please take a moment for a conscious breath......in.........try adding a slight smile on the exhale out..........