Exploring compassion and the spacious heart, Ram Dev discusses the possibility of fierce tenderness of the present moment.
Sharing this talk in online Satsang during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Ram Dev relates the current world situation to a spiritual retreat in the sense that it is an opportunity for major healing.
Diving into the Moment
Healing happens through contacting with love and compassion that which is difficult to contact, that which we have been avoiding in the past. Instead of feeling helpless in this noticeably difficult time, how can we develop a compassionate practice that can help us open our hearts to our interconnected nature and ability to help?
“Compassion is the exact same thing as loving-kindness, but in the context of suffering. Stephen Levine very poetically put it, ‘Compassion is the ability to keep your heart open in hell.’ So, in a very real way, compassion is going beyond wanting to be happy…Instead of grasping at happiness, we are diving into the moment.” – Ram Dev
For an elucidating lesson on developing compassion for our fear, check out Ep. 46 of Healing at the Edge
Compassion and the Spacious Heart (11:40)
Ram Dev asks us to imagine how simple life would become if our motivation for action was compassion. Surrendering into the spacious heart can be a vulnerable and frightening leap if we haven’t done the work of getting grounded, centered, and embodied. There first needs to be somebody that can bear the spaciousness. Then through that grounded embodiment, we can then go beyond to the nobody-ness.
“The desire for pleasant feelings often subverts compassion into sorrow. If we are trying to be happy all the time, and we see suffering, we will very likely pull away from that. Compassion requires the ability to switch our priorities from being happy to being present, being awake, being alive, being with all of it.” – Ram Dev
Discover the opening heart of compassion on the journey from somebody to nobody on Ep. 150 of Ram Dass Here & Now
Fierce Tenderness (18:52)
How can we nurture our ability to feel compassion? Sharing one of his favorite quotes from Pema Chodron, Ram Dev explores the fierce component of compassion -the quality of compassion that involves the willingness to feel pain. Ram Dev offers us methods for embodying this fierce tenderness; a kind of tenderness that clearly cuts through, but is fully compassionate.
“Compassion isn’t really learned when the doctor says, ‘I’ve got really bad news for you,’ or compassion isn’t learned when your relationship is in that difficult place where you’re having a hard time communicating. Compassion is learned in that moment where you notice you’re not present; you’ve been lost and you’re going to come back to being present. Do you do that with compassion, with kindness, with connectedness? Or do you do it with some judgement…some slight critical relationship with how you’re relating to this place of ‘having lost it again’?” – Ram Dev