Compassion and the Self


You can never be too compassionate - thinking of the other person and how that person will be affected by your actions towards that person. In the zendo they sometimes have statues of Kanzeon, the bodhisattva of compassion. Kanzeon is used to wake up the best qualities of the zendo and to remind us of our compassionate nature. When we are compassionate, the small self disappears and the nature of our true selves shine through.

So it is with mountains. Dogen in his Mountains and Rivers sutra discusses that mountains are sages. Sages go to mountains to mediate and their presence awakens the true nature of the mountain. And all the separate selves or egos of the sages merge and dissolve into the mountain. That is the same when we "lose ourselves" in any activity we wholeheartedly engage in. Whether meditating, or working, or cooking, or working out, or art, or music. Just name the activity. When we wholly enter into it, whatever we are doing, we become "one" with the activity and we lose our

egos, our small selves. We are lost in whatever we are doing, we lose ourselves and become one with the activity. That is great!!!!! That's what it is ALL ABOUT!!!! LOSING ONE'S SELF- CONSCIOUS IDENTITY.

When we give to others with true compassion, it is the same thing. We lose ourselves in helping another person, or any sentient being, who is in need. And yes, then our True Nature and True Self shines through. We lose the small self.

Because of our conditioning by society and its values, we have been conditioned to believe that our worth, our "self" comes from outside. From money, from fame, from having others "look up to you and praise you". All those things are false values in that they never bring true happiness or love or feeling of REAL SELF WORTH. Our real self worth comes from merging our small selves in our work and in our interaction with others, through compassion and love. And that is a very worthwhile virtue, the ultimate only real lasting virtue to have.

Then entering the river; they sit facing the wall Self centered views begin to fall, thoughts slow down, until myriad worlds, dissolve into silence as space unfurls and disappears into time with no beginning, no end. Only breath remains, alive and present. - Norman Fischer, Mountains and Rivers Sutra


In gassho, Konsei