Compassion Heals the Heart
If you’re a human being on this planet, you’ve experienced pain.
Our everyday experiences of tenderness, empathy, and warmth in the face of our own or other people’s suffering actually points toward a profound capacity of our being; an infinite pool of responsiveness that extends far beyond the emotional realm and actually connects us to what it means to be a human being and to have a heart. This not only helps us be with our pain. It can also reveal the deepest secrets of the universe.
Our biggest hurdle to understanding and sinking into the mysteries of the heart is our pain. Who wouldn’t want to steer clear of pain and move instead toward pleasure? It seems counterintuitive to willingly dive into it.
Yet by working with the green latifa, we come to appreciate our pain for the portal that it is. Pain is a beckoning to our depth, a compass, and a friendly signpost that says, ‘This is precisely where you need to look.’
If we really follow the crumbs of our experience—including pain, suffering, and heartache—we can start to discover what it is that’s actually experiencing those things. And in this revelation of our being, many things become clear.
We understand that:
- Pain is just another feeling that is as natural to human life as contentment, love, or confidence
- Avoiding pain cuts off our compassion, which is the only quality that can actually transform it
- Our deepest pain is not about emotions, but about our sense of disconnection from our fundamental being
- Listening to our hearts is the most compassionate action we can take
- That reality is inherently—and ultimately—loving and kind
In preparation for the teachings, please enjoy this introduction from our presenting teachers Karen Johnson and Zarina Maiwandi.