For over three decades, I read the Dalai Lama’s books on compassion, attended lectures by Thich Nhat Hanh, and even did a week long Metta meditation in Sri Lanka, yet I was unable to feel compassion on a daily basis. Looking at the state of the world today, I don’t think I was alone in this inability to practice compassion.
After countless broken relationships and on the verge of divorce at the age of 47, I finally realized what it meant to have compassion. I learned that compassion requires empathy. We can’t sympathize with the misfortune of others if we are unable to step into their shoes and understand their thoughts and feelings. Continue reading →
This post is on the topic of “The Power of We” for Blog Action Day 2012. One of the lines from Star Wars that I still think about to this day is when Obi Wan Kenobi says, “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Obi Wan says this right before he altruistically allows Darth Vader to strike him down in order to force Luke Skywalker to escape. Being that Obi Wan Kenobi was one of my first gurus–I even thought about changing my name to Obi Wan Hattori–I’ve spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what this line really meant. After years of studying Buddhism, the Bible, and the Japanese martial art aikido, I think I have finally unlocked the secret of this koan. Continue reading →