Compassion, for Living Intimately
Compassion is one of the primary lessons of the spiritual path. It is through the awakening of compassion that we are able to feel genuine concern for the well-being of everyone we encounter, and for all of nature. Through compassion we are able to abandon our own agendas; we are able to listen and respond with an open heart and a clear mind in all of our interactions. We become conduits for the spontaneous unfolding of circumstances towards healing and growth.
Compassion is essential for intimate relationships. It allows us to love in the face of imperfection and obstruction. It allows us to love that which is different from our own personality. It allows us to love even when our own expectations and desires are not being satisfied. And it helps us to accept the needs and changes that occur as our partner continues to grow; to love and honor our partner’s ‘pilgrim soul’.
Since we cannot be truly intimate with another person without the element of compassion, intimate relationships can be powerful vehicles for developing this crucial aspect of spiritual maturity.
For many people, however, it is more difficult to accept compassion than to feel it for someone else. To receive compassion means revealing the fragile, unresolved aspects of ourselves that we usually keep hidden from other people, and sometimes from ourselves as well.
–Adapted from Living Intimately, by Judith Blackstone, MA. Judith Judith is an innovative teacher in the contemporary spiritual and psychotherapy fields. She developed Realization Process, a method of realizing fundamental (non-dual) consciousness,and applying it to psychological and physical healing, and has taught it for twenty-five years throughout the United States and at Esalen Institute in California since 1987. She is author of Living Intimately, The Enlightenment Process, The Subtle Self: Personal Growth and Spiritual Practice, and The Empathic Ground.