The last Blog “What is Compassion” explained two views of Compassion. In this article we look at what is Compassion from a third point of view, that of Yoga. (To read Part I first, click here>>)
3—Compassion is: “It is my duty to help that person” (a duty you have already defined, such as to a parent or child or friend or stranger)” and I surrender to that duty and will do it no matter what my thoughts and feelings may be.”
You recognize the suffering without having to personally run those emotions through your body/mind. You sympathize without suffering yourself. You do what needs to be done without resistance.
You may have some resistance or feel some suffering, but you help them anyway. You note your thoughts and feelings, honor them, but don’t buy into them or fight with them or think they should be different. You do it anyway.
The Yogic View.
In many years of Bhagavad Gita classes, Yoga Master Baba Hari Dass, defined doing our “duty” as being aligned with our highest nature, acting for the benefit of all. Not being dominated by our ego mind which separates, judges, evaluates, names, etc.
You may define “duty” as a list of “should”s and “shouldn’t”s. But the yogic understanding is that doing one’s duty it is acting for the benefit of all.
When we act for the benefit of all, we are no longer isolated, separate, me-and-them. We are as one entity, one humanity. There is no resistance, loss of energy or suffering in this experience.
You actually feel energized and blissful doing your duty.
This is what I wish for us all!!!!
PS: Compassion is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary online as “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Usually accompanied by a feeling of wanting to help others. (This is different from the Yogic view.)