Monday, July 11, 2011

Am I really kind?

A friend commented yesterday that I'm a kind soul.

Almost immediately this statement rang an alarm within, and this thought recurred throughout the night, stirring up an unease that cannot be dispelled. So during the sitting last night I had to examine how this statement had such a tremendous effect in my psyche.

Subtly, an effort to do good may well be for our own egos. An attempt to feel good about ourselves, an ideal that we strive towards; these are just some of the reasons why we try to do as much good as possible. Then in the face of personal judgement, there's no place to hide. 'Am I really doing that wholly to help another? Why then isn't this extended to everyone?'

The unease felt was a result of guilt. A guilt that stems from the fact that there's still a personal want in all the things done. With the understanding that this want is also a selfless manifestation of conditions, we rest in stillness to allow it and the feeling of guilt to pass. And in the process of this we will see guilt for what it is: a physical response to a failure to upkeep to the ideal. Just by watching this recurring response, we can note how it creates a personal story of I and reinforces our grip on an ideal that never existed.

The Bodhisattva Path of relieving all sentient beings of their sufferings before one is truly the most noblest. In order to tread this journey, one is required to examine, again and again, the intent of one's actions. The point of doing this is to cultivate a unified compassion for all sentient beings. In doing this, we can all know Nirvana in this Samsara experience.

1 comment:

  1. Good point. Being human and imperfect, we are going to feel ego-related emotions when we succeed or fail in our efforts to be kind. I think we have to treat these feelings the same way we treat random thoughts that arise in meditation. If we are sure about following the bodhisattva path, we don't have to be concerned too much about the scenery.