Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Compassion

Today I wanted to write to you about Compassion. Compassion is such an important part of loving. I imagine that it means with passion. And of course when one has compassion one feels love or passion again for someone. But if I judge someone or see them as different or wrong I am suddenly separated from them and the oneness of life and I feel cut off and can feel alone and also judging of myself. But when I can love someone as they are and see that they may need to behave as they are behaving for reasons I may not know or not understand then I can also love myself and my ways of being and my quirky ways. When I judge I also judge myself-it is always two way. Discernment is also important, if I know that someone has difficulty doing something then there is no point expecting or wanting them to do that. But I can still have compassion for them and still love them however or whatever they are.

I feel that I learned compassion from my darling Mum who, as anyone who knows her will tell you, is the epitome of egoless compassion. When I grew up she volunteered tirelessly for Amnesty International, writing letters and fundraising. We had a big house and she welcomed all kinds of people who needed help a refuge and often a bed. We were brought up as Catholics but she got my sisters and me to deliver the newsletters for the local Anglican Church. We were a little confused as to why we were doing this at the time but now I can see that she was teaching us that we are all connected, we are all one, one heart, one love (in the words of Bob Marley) and I thank her deeply for that. As teenagers she drove a bus for the homeless and we helped give out food and soup. Like I said sometimes I did not understand why we were welcoming so many different people into our lives but now I have work that takes me to meet so many people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. And I love it, and love the diversity and I do feel it was growing up like this that has helped me to be open to different individuals. I love being in a mixed society and would not want it any other way. Of course I can have judgements and I can be rigid but when I work with my groups my judgements are melted away for when you come to know someone in a connected way then all there is your humanity and their humanity.

A beautiful group I have worked with for many years is my dance group at the Bromley By Bow Centre in East London www.bbbc.org.uk
In this group I have young and old, disabled and non disabled, black and white, Indian and Bangladeshi, African and Jamaican, working class and middle class, men and women, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Christian, workers and volunteers and each week we dance share the love and pray that others in the world may be looked after in their hour of need and feel the love they need. In this group we have difference and yet we find also our commonality and our connection and oneness. It feels like it is a great model of the possibility of peace in the world. We also have a beautiful cafe at Bromley By Bow which is open 9am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday so if you want to come and visit a wonderful arts community centre please do.

Wishing you love and joy in your heart and courage to be you

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