Monday, March 16, 2009

Compassion - My Journey

I seem to be a complex person - never seeming to be satisfied with what is, but always searching, rarely staying static for long. That seems to be my life journey. As I've written before, I am studying Reiki, wanting to incorporate energy body work into my life, as a way to offer healing comfort to others and also as a way to work on myself. My body hurts more as I age and Reiki energy work provides relief.

Reiki is an amazing technique, opening me up in new ways, and has led to a deepening self-evaluation of my spiritual life, or maybe it's better to say, my lack of one. I've always defined myself as an Atheist and have not spent much time thinking about religion and/or spirituality, even though I have "toyed" with Buddhism since my 20's.

On my Facebook page I have written that I am a "Goddess loving Buddhist", which seems to fit, although the Buddhist part has become more central and the goddess piece has moved more into the background. Truthfully though, I've never spent much time thinking deeply about either of these paths I've (sort of) taken. There has definitely been a shift, which I am trying to articulate here, although I'm not sure how successfully.

The Goddess piece is about a connection to the power of the female, and the knowledge of the mystery and power that she holds, in whatever incarnation one looks to. I love her connection to nature and inner strength, although sometimes her strength is directed outward and seems violent to me.

The Buddhist piece has always been about being centered, choosing to focus on being balanced, being able to detach and stay still, refusing to be locked into negative thinking patterns, and believing in the good of people. Not always an easy task for me but I do believe that the more I am able to stay present and focused, the less I get pulled into negativity.

I have now added a new piece which is Compassion. Compassion is central to Tibetan Buddhist thought. Compassion (Bodhisattva) is best represented by Quan Yin whom I believe holds tremendous strength, giving and fortitude. I am including three photographs that show different images of Quan Yin. She is revered in Buddhist teachings. Compassion comes in many forms. I am not always able to be compassionate, nor do I fully understand it fully. But I do think I get it now. I hope that focusing on compassion with stay in my thoughts each day as I go about my life.

So why am I writing this?

I am writing about this because of a blog entry I read recently about a basketball game. Funny connection I guess, but not really. Lori Anderson, one of the finest jewelry artists around, wrote about an article she read about a high school student, who was blind, being allowed to toss all the free throw shots in a basketball game that was a fundraiser. His brother used a cane to tap the hoop and this young man, Matt Steven, was able to follow the sound and shoot for the hoop - he succeeded 4 out of 8 times. How amazing is that? I loved this story, especially that his team allowed him to shoot, even though it might have meant they lose the game. If you want to get the full picture, go read the article which is highlighted on Lori's blog post. You can access it by clicking on the blog entry title at the top of this page.

Sometimes it's not just about winning!


  1. Very nice write up...and I think you it explained it just fine :)

    Beautiful images you have found of her too.

  2. What sweet and tender thoughts about your affinity for both compassion and the Goddess. And how wonderful that you managed to combine them in selecting Quan Yin as your symbol of compassion, especially since you feel there's the outward-oriented piece to the Goddess - practicing compassion means directing it toward both others and ourselves. Although that's not a violent act, of course, I think of practicing compassion as very much the activity of a warrior, if you think of warrior as possessing strength and perseverance in the face of difficulty. Thanks for writing about this!!

  3. Hi I enjoy reading your blog. I'm a jewelry artist designer creator and I am a Reiki II practictioner. Cool that you are getting into it. I also have a facebook page. That's probably how I found you.

  4. Hi, Terry
    I just wanted to stop by to say hello and thank you for visiting my blog and entering my OWOH contest.
    I had a lot of entries and I am still trying to get back to everyone to say hello.
    I have heard of people who won multiple prizes! I didn't win any :(
    Your blog looks great and I've bookmarked it so I can come back later and visit longer.

  5. What a beautiful post!!! I really loved it!!