Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

Compassion means that friend and "enemy" are one and the same.

Your suffering is mine; my joy is yours; there is no separation.

The greatest challenge to this peaches-and-cream Tantric notion comes in those moments wherein it is so very hard to love another. To have compassion for those we've deemed in opposition; to be kind and wish peace for those who've brought shadows into our lives.

I'm reading the news gingerly these days. All talk is of tomorrow's 9/11 anniversary. I'm challenged to find ways in which we can observe the decade that has passed since that morning in 2001 without reverting to divisive "us/them" rhetoric and the kind of self-pitying talk that conveniently, myopically overlooks all the atrocities that we Americans have been responsible for inflicting upon the world.

I liked what Susan Piver wrote this morning:
True compassion has much more in common with fierceness than softness. It arises when you allow someone else’s pain into your own heart without a personal agenda.

To view our “enemy” as part of the human family rather than a scourge to be obliterated means we have to take on their pain as our own and this seems absurd. Nonetheless, we must do it anyway. It requires fearlessness and humor and a sense of genuine power, and is not some kind of lefty do-good politically correct pose.
Compassion is the only way. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.


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