Thursday, April 21, 2011
The Humble Musings Of The Manhattan Monk 4/21/11
Compassionate work is patient work, determined sacrifice, trudging through all the expected and welcomed failures, and in these failures finding the building blocks of authentic success and happiness that one can never have in complacent, shallow sameness.
Actual, sincere compassion, free of envy, duplicity, and hypocrisy, requires that character change which is considered too "foreign", too "toxic", to our contemporary sense of self. Therefore what is so simple, so natural to our soul, to love and to give, to share Krsna and serve each other with body, mind, and sweet word, becomes excruciatingly difficult.
This is a personal revolution. The soul's natural state, glimpsed in particles of effulgence through the smoke and dust of our conditioning, give all positive momentum to us in the course of our too-human endeavor.
The compassionate heart is the sacred heart. The compassionate heart is a weapon against the decay of our very being, the very structure of our personal and collective existence.
Let us embrace this turning inwards and outwards. Let us become natural again, even if it is swimming against the same current we have always floated along with. It is this effort against the tide which makes us whole, which makes us grow, which makes us true lovers of Krsna and of each other.
We must have in our heart a great and strong internal sense of mission, focused and perhaps even quite contrary to whatever external consequences we find ourselves in. It is the furnace of our heart which drives us forward towards this great compassion to properly qualify ourselves as the servant of the servant.
It is this internal fire which is one of the great gifts of the culture of bhakti, filling a void within our existence left open and festering by the ruthless and void expressions of "self" and "community" that pass for our excuses for civilization.
This personal revolution begins when we simply become obliged to think of the spiritual pleasure and well-being of others before and beyond the fulfilling of our own selfish appetites. This is the pillar and the mason-stone for all further and deeper growth. But this is quite contrary to the current shape of my character.
The only path to becoming a real instrument of compassion is to learn how to become a mature servant of the Divine intuition within myself. The mature heart can be trusted to extend itself in all matters of responsibility and dynamic love, where it can be most and completely effective.
As we become aware of our duplicities we shouldn't become shattered. It is part of our growth, if we make it so, to use the clarity of our weakness to see what we need to do to become stronger, more sure, more simple. It is a two-way street; increasing our attachment to the personal, to the devotional, while sacrificing that which has little tangible value or worth in our lives.
If we are determined and struggling forward on these paths, then our failures along the way can always be put into proper perspective. We can see the weeds in the garden of our heart quite clearly. We can pull them out with the right deftness and torque, examine them for all that they are and aren't, and toss them aside for good.
Without the momentum of this personal revolution in our heart, then we are stagnant, hypocritical without redemption, and just the same as we were before