Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Humble Musings Of The Manhattan Monk 4/7/11
It is the inherent nature of devotional service, the art of bhakti, that everything we do with sincerity and with genuine purpose gives and reveals a deep compassion from within our heart. The more committed we become, the more active our compassion is. It's a natural reaction, and these two aspects reinforce each other in strength and love.
It's damn hard work to open the heart in prayer, to go deep inside and lay the framework for the external manifestations of our heart in compassionate action. It's a mountain of dirt we have to get rid of. From the immense, eternal compassion emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord I pray the waves of mercy will free the river of compassion to flow in the service of His active love in this world.
Our internal work of prayer is meant to make us overflow with this compassion that must be given and communicated to the world.
For myself, perhaps for you too, the most compassionate act is the most difficult to do. It doesn't come naturally. It must be forced out, pulled out of the heart, plucked out of the weeds, rare flowers to be offered.
At least I can see the opportunities that were missed, and carry with me now the instruments and gifts I must learn to give at a moment's notice. Sometimes, in the self-imposed restrictions of my current condition, all I can do to help someone is to pray and trust in the Lord's mercy for them. But always I must push to do more, to grow.
It's hard to chant above the din of the city
It's hard to chant above the din of the mind
Compassion is not a by-product of the over-stimulated intellect, of the defender of the philosophical mold, in all its bound glory. The mind must be there, the intellect must be active, for compassion is never mindless or without deliberation, but the mind is merely a means to an end, the end of which is the scope of our heart.
To care for others in a real and meaningful way requires humility, patience, and time well spent. The only grasping for compassion we need to do is to make our own heart capable. The path is already laid out for us. There is no need to make a new philosophical or theological discovery. That is not going to happen here, not here in the heart-space.
To speculate, to agitate the intellect towards the unnecessary, the "splendid", is a waste of time and energy. We only have to aim for the heart.
The humbling bumbling book distributor, the old white widow of Vraja, and the simple priest are well beyond the wordy "intellectual" samurai in their humble heart-felt connection with what is Truth.