We get confused between compassion for someone we like who is easy to get along with and loving, and a higher level of compassion that invites us to remain compassionate for all people, no matter how they behave. Often, the love and compassion we feel for our family members and spouse get tested when challenges arise, and we realize a lot of the things we believed about the other people were just part of a façade. Here is how the Dalai Lama explains compassion:
“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.”
With our cultural emphasis on instant gratification, if the people around us don’t act the way we think they should, the relationship usually falters or the marriage ends in the divorce courts. However, here is another way to look at compassion, from the perspective of learning our lessons in the real world. The Dalai Lama says, “I must emphasize again that merely thinking that compassion and reason and patience are good will not be enough to develop them. We must wait for difficulties to arise and then attempt to practice them. And who creates such opportunities? Not our friends, of course, but our enemies. They are the ones who give us the most trouble, so if we truly wish to learn, we should consider enemies to be our best teacher!”
Is there some person or situation in your life right now that is an opportunity for learning? It doesn’t mean we are supposed to stay in an abusive or unpleasant or detrimental relationship purely for the reason of practicing our principles of love and compassion in a difficult situation, but rather to use the situation for growth. I think it feels natural to want to shut the door on a bad relationship or experience, but take time to extract the lessons it came to teach you, and with this practice, you’ll find an easier way to detach from the pain and upset feelings.
For many of us, we grew up being told that faith means believing in the unseen, and it was used as a way to explain why we should accept certain religious dogma and teachings without the proof that we were logically requesting. For many people, faith still is synonymous with their chosen religion. And for that reason, people of a more secular mindset will find themselves ignoring or pushing away lessons that include the words “have faith,” in the assumption the lesson is a religious teaching of some kind.
Faith is belief in the power of the universe, God, Source, Universal Mind, One Mind—we have many names we use for the unexplainable force of creation. Of course there are many millions of people who doggedly believe that “God” is an old man with a long white beard sitting on a throne off in the blue yonder, ready to punish the wrongdoers and reward the faithful. That conception was based on the image of Zeus when early Christians were seeking ways to convert “pagans” away from their beliefs in multiple gods and into a belief of their own three-in-one godhead.
When you have faith in manifestations, it means that you understand the mental process of creation: first form an image—that is always based on a desire for expansion, for joy, for more beauty—then have full faith in the process that says believe it is yours, expect it to come, and it will be yours.
We tend to falter in the “faith” segment of the creation process because of the challenge of believing in the unseen and understanding unseen doesn’t mean it’s not on the way, and that is how we end up with so many undesirable results in life. But with practice, we can and do get better and better at manifesting happy and healthy lives.
The power of our imagination cannot be overemphasized when it comes to getting the results that we want in life. Most of us never learned about the Law of Attraction until the DVD movie “The Secret” brought it to our attention. Although the “law” is in action at all times, bringing to us whatever conditions are in harmony with our thought vibrations, we tend to think of using the law of attraction to get something specific, like a car or job or relationship. When we turn our attention to a greater understanding of the mental laws, however, we can readily see that the law of attraction is like the law of gravity: it’s “on” 24/7, not just when we focus on it or call on it to work for us.
The imagination is our key to getting the laws to work in our favor. You don’t have to be a quantum physicist to recognize the ease with which we can bring to mind a vision of what we desire, and keep imagining it long enough and strong enough that our thought image calls forth the physical image for us to experience.
In the popular book by Maxwell Maltz called Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, he explains the power of the imagination:
“Creative imagination” is not something reserved for the poets, the philosophers, the inventors. It enters into our every act. For imagination sets the goal “picture” which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of “will,” as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.
A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment.
This is a basic and fundamental law of mind. It is the way we are built.
When we see this law of mind graphically and dramatically demonstrated in a hypnotized subject, we are prone to think that there is something occult or supra-normal at work. Actually, what we are witnessing is the normal operating processes of the human brain and nervous system.
For example, if a good hypnotic subject is told that he is at the North Pole he will not only shiver and appear to be cold, his body will react just as if he were cold and goose pimples will develop. The same phenomenon has been demonstrated on wide awake college students by asking them to imagine that one hand is immersed in ice water. Thermometer readings show that the temperature does drop in the “treated” hand. Tell a hypnotized subject that your finger is a red hot poker and he will not only grimace with pain at your touch, but his cardiovascular and lymphatic systems will react just as if your finger were a red hot poker and produce inflammation and perhaps a blister on the skin. When college students, wide awake, have been told to imagine that a spot on their foreheads was hot, temperature readings have shown an actual increase in skin temperature.
Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a “real” experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from your forebrain.
Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what “you” think or imagine to be true.
One of the core principles of using the law of attraction to our advantage instead of unconsciously magnetizing results that we don’t really like or want, is to understand the power of focusing our thoughts so that we appreciate what we want to experience even before we get it.
When we enter into a practice of being appreciative of all that we already have, we set up an internal vibration that brings us into harmony with a higher quality of circumstances. We thus draw those conditions and circumstances and relationships into our life, simply by being grateful. And then, to take the practice even further, if we start being grateful in advance for all that we desire, being thankful we have already received it, the law of attraction will match our energy with what we want to get.
Here’s an excerpt from my book GET HAPPY TODAY: No More Excuses! that explains more about building up an attitude of gratitude.
Chapter 5 – Action Steps: Cultivate gratitude
- Don’t expect yourself to be a magical mystical being who doesn’t have fear and who dances through life with a song on your lips every moment of every day. That’s not what being “happy no matter what” means. Happiness is an intention to accept the ups and downs with good humor.
- Be grateful for every chance to love someone who is, at this point in time, acting in an unlovable way. Isn’t that what love is all about?
- There’s no mystery to how I went quickly from panic to acceptance in the dentist chair. But there is indeed a secret that I will share with you, and here it is: I used gratitude as my path.
- Make gratitude a habit in your daily life. It works.
- From now on, in everything you do, even the mundane tasks, find ways to say to yourself, “I am grateful for this situation because…” Try it. With practice, it leads you to feel more empowered about your life. As well as happier.
At first glance, many of us cringe at the word “obey” or “obedience” because it brings up instant memories of being ordered to do something we didn’t want to do, at threat of punishment or a failing grade, or a treat withheld. However, a deeper understanding of obedience puts us into the scientific framework of quantum physics, where we can delve into the truth that we must be obedient to the universal laws or we cannot possibly get the results we want.
For instance, we know that we must be obedient to the Law of Gravity. Just because your hands are full of packages doesn’t mean you get to put one of them mid-air and expect it to stay there while you grope in a pocket for your keys. We know that, because physical experiences taught us about gravity starting about age 18 months (if you’ve ever seen a child playing the game “dropsy” where they toss food or a cup or toy over the high chair edge and watch gleefully as it drops to the ground, you’ll realize the child was learning basic compliance with gravity.)
When we want to succeed with a project, whether it is something tangible such as getting a new home or car, or something that’s a circumstance such as attracting a soulmate or money freedom, we also need to be in full compliance with the universal laws or we’ll be sabotaging our results.
In his book called Working with the Law, Raymond Holliwell explains about obedience to the laws of the mind:
The word “obey” means to submit to rule or to comply with orders or instructions. Obedience, then, is the governor of all movement whether it be mechanical, literal, or spiritual. A giant machine without its governor would tear itself apart, would be utterly destroyed because it failed to obey its own laws of momentum or gravity.
An intellectual giant who fails to comply with the laws of learning will become as an idiot. A student failing to comply with or to obey the instructions of spirit, the Law of God, will reverse that good and create evil. We are dependent entirely on obedience for our success or failure in this life.
Our societies, cities, states and nation are supported by it. Our properties and lives are dependent upon it. Because of our respect for obedience, we, as a whole, support it. But woe unto the man who tries to break through to pillage, to plunder for selfish gain.
As we look into the home we see the mother training her child into habits of discipline. Tomorrow we see a happy mother because her child has grown into youth and manhood and has earned success. A success because, back in the beginning of his life, the seed of obedience was placed there which brought forth respect, obedience, and unselfish thought.
On the other hand, we may see where others fail because they have been allowed to grow up being disobedient, disrespectful, and selfish.
Why do we seem to have an endless ability to fool ourselves with lies? Because we have practiced denial for so long. That is the only reason. It’s not because there is something inherently wrong with us. It’s just that we were never taught how things get stronger. Our thought habits grow more entrenched and seemingly “normal” with practice. In fact, anything we put our attention on, and energy into, will grow whether it is something wanted or not wanted.
This morning, returning from a walk in Central Park with my Golden retriever Sugar Bear, I saw a middle-aged man ambling down the sidewalk ahead of me, smoking a cigarette to the very dregs of tobacco. He tossed the lit stub into the street and began coughing, then he swilled from his coffee cup as if to stop the cough, and went into his apartment building.
Let’s imagine this conversation:
Doctor: Sir, smoking is causing your cough.
Man: No it’s not. I must’ve picked up that cold that’s going around.
Doctor: Smoking causes cancer. You really should quit cigarettes.
Man: No worries. I’ll quit before I’m at risk.
Future scholars will marvel at our capacity for denial, as evidenced by the remnants they’ll study of our lifestyle. Pollution caused by man. Deliberate ingestion of over-processed foods and inhumanely “farmed” animals (by the way, animals don’t grow from seeds like corn and wheat do, they are sentient mammals, fish and fowl. Pet owners would never do to their beloved dogs and cats and hamsters and koi and parrots what goes on behind the scenes in the food industry.)
What are you denying in your own life? A bad relationship you put up with, out of fear that you’ll never find something better? A job you hate but stick with for the same reason?
There’s always something that we mentally push away as if it will go away if we put off dealing with it. Instead, the very pushing makes it stronger, and it begins to eat away at us inside, like a cancer.
Make a list of the incompletions, the things you know are important to take care of that you keep shuffling to the side. The more we can take care of those things, the freer we feel inside. And with that freedom comes a more enlightened and joyful way of living.
I started writing books and blogging on the topic of stress relief and the law of attraction some years back, and I know that both topics are still very applicable to all our lives. It’s far too easy to feel stressed-out and overwhelmed with all the demands on our time.
I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 8 “Chill, Baby – Learn to Relax, No Matter How Crazy Everybody Else Is” in my book “Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today.”
Your “Simply Being” Meditation
Meditation is a way to quiet your frantic mind and find peace for a few moments. It’s an excellent way to keep your heart healthy and your stress level manageable.
This is a simple meditation that even a young child can learn.
–Turn off the TV, loud music and computer games.
–Lie down in a restful place with minimal distractions.
–Relax your muscles, close your eyes, visualize yourself as floating on a raft in a gentle stream.
–Take deep, slow breaths.
–Imagine fluffy clouds overhead. A soft summer breeze embraces you.
–Enjoy the beauty of being part of this world. Rest for a few moments, quietly and calmly.
–Silently tell yourself: “I am here.”
If you are new to meditation, a few minutes might seem like a long time. With practice, you will look forward to ten or fifteen minutes of “Simply Being.”
There’s a reason you are called a “human being” and not a “human doing.”
Take time for the human “being” portion of you. It drives all the rest.
Your days will be more fulfilling when you take time to relax. Feed your body and spirit with a dose of contentment time.
We’ve all been trained from early childhood to live pretty much in a “reactive” mode—looking around us, noticing what others are doing, seeing what’s on the news, deciding what side of a political campaign we agree with, or whose part in an argument between friends we think is the correct one.
We let our buttons get pushed as if we actually have physical buttons that are hard-wired to our emotional center. And we react in hurt, anger, outrage, and anxiety when we don’t like what other people or countries are doing.
But what if we are only compounding the “badness” in the world with our own reaction? What if our anger or rage or determination to overcome someone (or something like cancer, poverty, terrorism, childhood hunger) is actually making matters worse?
It’s a difficult concept to wrap our heads around! The very idea seems so contrary to the reality we’ve grown up in and live in every single day that it must be just some esoteric idea being promoted by a few oddballs out there trying to sell their books.
And yet, ancient wisdom that is thousands of years old in every culture teaches us that we become what we think about the most. If we think about getting even with or defeating someone who is on a path of destruction, we actually add more energy to their fear-based behavior. If you pause and imagine a series of energy wave “belts” encircling the globe, and each one is at a different frequency: some are related to thoughts of world peace, love, harmony, caring for one another, growing and expanding in joy as we realize we are all connected in the One Mind. And other belts are on a lower frequency of fearful emotions including rage, anger, depression, discouragement, worry, greed, and the determination to dominate others for the sole purpose of power and immense wealth.
Whatever we are thinking at any given moment is in harmony with one of those “belts” I’ve invented for the purpose of illustration. Although you can’t actually see a “belt” around the equator, there are indeed thought wavelengths that never die. This is a good thing to understand because it means if you are feeling lonely about being the only one among your friends who wants world peace, you can mentally tap into the wavelength of all the other millions on earth who want that, too.
So instead of hating someone who is operating on a low frequency of totalitarianism, hatred, power-madness, simply link yourself up with thoughts of a higher nature. The more we do this, the more we think loving and compassionate thoughts about life in general, the more we will manifest events, experiences and… yes, world peace.
The Dalai Lama is a master of compassion, despite being forced out of his own country by the Red Army in 1959, and then the Chinese government rewrote the history books and educated the children that China always owned Tibet. His Holiness could probably look at any situation directly and be able to draw on an endless well of compassion and love.
But don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t disciplined your mind and heart to do that, too. We are all progressing in our own rate of spiritual evolution. Many people are stuck in fear and hatred, but that doesn’t mean we should join them by being hateful ourselves.
A quick tip: don’t feel this means you have to bring that angry, hate-filled, person to mind and send loving thoughts directly to him. Most of us aren’t at a high enough level of compassion to pull that off—thinking about the other person’s raging and terrorizing behavior might invoke such feelings of anger and helplessness and worry in your mind that you’ll end up feeling frustrated and upset.
Instead, imagine something or someone that brings up a happy and contented feeling inside you: it could be thinking about a child you love, a butterfly, a happy memory of celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Then, while thinking of that person or event, let the feelings of peace wash up in you and spill over into your life.
Imagine there are sparkling golden lights dancing around you, and let yourself be calm. You’ve just connected with the power of love.
And love always trumps hate. Always. Even Hitler was eventually defeated.
Wayne Dyer and others remind us that when we change the way we look at things, those things actually change. The reason is that our point of view or perception of circumstances, events, people and conditions colors absolutely everything. Within our perception are our judgments, labels and evaluations about the world and all that is in it.
It’s a good thing to have a point of view or we would walk around totally overwhelmed. Imagine the chaos if every time we were faced with a green light in an intersection we had to dredge up information about whether it meant “stop” or “go”! We judge constantly because the stream of impressions our mind receives each day is staggering. And in today’s world of instant communication and massive amounts of internet mail and websites to visit, we can get sensory overload quickly. Our mind helps us assess all these things so that we can make quick decisions about whether something interests us enough to look further, and we all know how that channel surfing works with television, too. A quick glance and instantly our mind calculates whether we would like “this” or not like it, based on…what? Based on thoughtful contemplation? Rarely. Based on thousands of impressions we’ve already had and stored for just this purpose: to help us sort.
But there’s more to perception, because it affects the choices we make, and if we make a snap judgment against something new that could help us lead better lives, then we end up sabotaging ourselves by being too rigid.
Carol Adrienne, the co-author of The Tenth Insight, said, “Once we shift our perspective, we can never turn back. We stand poised like a deer sniffing the wind—alive. With this new way of looking inward for direction, watching for tiny clues, we realize that not only can we make a difference, but this is the real reason we are here.”
What do you feel your real reason is for being here? If you shifted your perception away from what everyday life has been up until now, do you think that would make a difference in your life?
Why do we struggle so much to get what we want? Is it really true that life is hard, and we just have to endure all the pain before we manage to enjoy even a portion of “gain”?
Actually, the truth is, humans have had a total misunderstanding of how this world, and our universe, actually works, and because of that, we’ve been stuck with a lot of rules and regulations about goal-achieving that are simply upside down and backwards.
There’s a much easier way to manifest what we want: by desiring it, and allowing it to come to us. It doesn’t mean you sit in a comfy armchair and magical manifestations shower upon you from the heavens, however it does mean that you can learn to take inspired action, the kind of intuitive choices and decisions that lead to a much smoother and more delightful path of realizing your goals.
As Abraham-Hicks explains, “No matter what it is, if you really want it, and if you get out of the way of it, it will happen. It must be. It is Law. It can be no other way. It’s the way this Universe is established. If you want it and you relax, it will happen.”