The Goddess of compassion, mercy, and kindness of Chinese Buddhism, “Guanyin” translates as “Observing the Sounds (Cries) of the (Human) World” or The One Who Perceives the sound of the living world.
She is the nurturer of all those in need, of all those whose outlook is at it bleakest. As a Bodhisattva, as with her origin Avalokiteshvara she had suffered much during her life as a Buddhist that she had attained the reward of Enlightenment and thus, entry into Nirvana.
Yet, upon her arrival at the gates to ascension and transcendence, she heard the cries from the humans on Earth and vowed to stay behind and help others on their path to enlightenment.
This is the ultimate form of sacrifice one can make. To give up their own well-earned rites and comforts to aid in the support of those less-fortunate. How many of us here would have made such a choice? Could we have the grace and mercy of the wisest of wise and follow the Bodhisattva’s Four-Methods-of-Guidance?
So, we may never get the opportunity to avow our dedication towards helping others in such a magnitude. It does not, however, mean that we cannot perform our own smaller, daily miracles during our trip through this world. How?
Anything we do, no matter how small, for another in their moment of need is homage paid to the Bodhisattva. Whether it is holding a door or offering our seat on the bus to the elderly, taking care of the ill, or even offering simple advice to someone suffering hardships, the act of caring and compassion is our gift to the world.
To show mercy and to sacrifice our own satisfaction is a testament to those who have gone before. It is not hard to practice daily compassion. Nor is it difficult to send that compassion out to all that need it.
To show compassion all that is truly necessary is the desire to brighten someone’s day. Taking an example from the Queen of Compassion herself, Oprah here is a link to her 35 Little Acts of Kindness.
What ways can you think of to show more kindness and compassion each day? It doesn’t have to be grandiose. In fact, the smallest token of compassion such as a smile or bringing soup to a sick neighbor sets forth a huge ripple forward from one person to the next.
So maybe there isn’t an empathetic bone in your body. Perhaps you have poisoned yourself so much that you have gone numb and void of feelings. It could happen. If this is describing you, then at least don’t deprive them of someone else’s mercy, care, and compassion.
It will not rob you of nirvana. It will not even necessarily make you late to work for paying for your coffee with a $20 bill and instead of waiting for change, ask the cashier to use the change for the people in the line behind you. Actually, if you decided to show random kindness in this way, you might even be early to work!
An act of compassion alone does not make one compassionate. It is with the regular giving freely of one’s time or service, the practice of kind speech, beneficial actions, and identity-self or non-difference that one will become compassionate.
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