Compassion

Compassion, Peace, Healing

Written by Gede Prama

Learning deeply from many unsolvable problems, unhealble diseases, unresolvable war conflicts, human civilization nowadays is in a deep longing for healing energy. Look at the increasing rate of suicide, divorce, strange illness. When it comes to conflict, even in the religious institutions intense conflict happened everywhere. The question then, where is the healing energy and peace can be found? Other places may have a different aura. As has been noted by many spiritual seekers for years, the aura of Bali is peace. For this reason, let this humble article share the aura of peace and healing.

Learning deeply from many unsolvable problems, unhealble diseases, unresolvable war conflicts, human civilization nowadays is in a deep longing for healing energy. Look at the increasing rate of suicide, divorce, strange illness. When it comes to conflict, even in the religious institutions intense conflict happened everywhere. The question then, where is the healing energy and peace can be found? Other places may have a different aura. As has been noted by many spiritual seekers for years, the aura of Bali is peace. For this reason, let this humble article share the aura of peace and healing.

The Ground

It is hard to imagine that there is deep spiritual journey when the mind is still gripped by duality (good-bad, right-wrong, etc.). God is positioned as the enemy of satan. Buddha fight against mara. The stronger duality shakes, the farther one away from peace. As suggested by many masters, mind which is tormented by partiality will never experience peace.

To be frank, duality is only needed at the beginning. It is like vehicle that helps us on the journey. Similar to traveling to the top of mountain, when we drive on the toll road we need a car. In crossing the lake one needs boat. But as soon as one arrives at the top of mountain, all equipment and vehicle must be left behind.

For this reason, Balinese elder taught: “rwa bhinedane tampi” . It means, learn not to oppose duality, embrace duality with the same smile. It is like day and night, eliminating one of them is equal with obliterate both of the two. In the language of gardener, we are all unique mixture of grass (by which read: good quality) and weed (bad quality). Similar to beautifying the garden, eventhough weed is cleaned every month, it appears again and again. Beautiful garden as symbol of healing teach us, no matter weed appears again and again, the job of skillful gardener keep smiling in cleaning the weed. In the same way, we human being have both health and sickness inside. Ultimate healing happens when we keep smiling to whatever present in the present.

In this light, it is easy to understand why meditation keeps suggesting always to be a compassionate witness. In sitting, walking, eating, drinking, sleeping, showering, even dreaming always remember to be a compassionate witness. Then it is possible to recognize that all forms of thought, feeling are like clouds that coming and going. Suffering happens when one attaches to the white cloud of happiness and rejects the dark clouds of sadness. Condition of free from suffering happens when one is no longer identify oneself with limited and changing clouds, but rest in the unlimited and unchanging blue sky.

The Path

Deeply guided by the ground of “rwa bhineda”, then steps in the daily devotion (note: Balinese prefer devotion as the path) become full of light. Devotion is no longer burdened by targets. This is beautiful devotion, because all dedication that is done beyond duality make all the way meaningful. In the language of Jetsun Milarepa: “all directions contain holy books”. Borrowing from psychologist Carl G. Jung, life is full of synchronicity.

As soon as one arrives here, every place is peace, every time is peace. Season can change all the time, but all season has its own function. Raining season is the time to umbrella seller to sell. Hot season is the time when the ice cream seller to sell. Praise is a moment of motivation, blame is a training to be humble. No waste in life, all is holy scripture. All has its own meaning.

Seen in this way, it is easy to understand that all Buddha statues are smile. Smile indicating that one is able to be the friend of all. More than that, smile is a good sign that one has become a master. No longer become the victim of life. In the beautiful song lyrics of Bee Gees: “smile, an ever lasting smile, the smile that brings you near to me”. Always remember to smile, only smile that brings one closer to God or Buddha within.

The Fruits

Deep inner seekers who are well trained in this case, will be very easy to touch the energy of healing and peace . While some seekers still chasing to attain healing and peace, these inner seekers are able to experience that life is peace, life is full of healing energy. This is possible because one of the important reason why most people have energy deficit then having many stress and disease, because they waste many energy in seeking, blaming, condemning.

Under the guidance of “rwa bhinedha”, holy books are available everywhere, synchronicity, energy is no longer wasted. It is perfectly cycling inside. Human body is a good example. Food as source of energy entering through mouth. Dirts come out through anal. Good people, beautiful experience, success are like food. Bad person, failure are like wastes. All is cycling. Energy of healing and peace available everywhere when one is perfectly rest in this moment.

In the technical terminology of deep meditation, rest means that one is beginning to attain emptiness. To put it more precise, it is empty and full of luminosity as well. Similar to sugar which is naturally sweet, grass which is naturally green, emptiness as a high spiritual realization is naturally full of compassion. As we can not separate sugar with sweet taste, we can not separate grass with green color, we can not separate emptiness with compassion. This is the most important reason why the daily life of the enlightened is full of compassion. Compassion is the natural state of emptiness. With deep practice of compassion, then the enlightened not only heal themselves but also heal the world.

Research

In the past, the story that compassion heals is only heard in spiritual places. But nowadays it has been researched widely. One of an old research in this case is the finding that people who have pets at home tend to have less possibility of heart attack. After deeply interviewed, the conclusion is simple. Those who have pets at home, they have a feeling of being needed. They positively feel that there is something waiting at home.

Another well known research, some students were divided into two groups. The first group watched the touching movie of Mother Teresa who was full of compassion in serving the poor in Calcutta India . The second one watched the ordinary movie. The conclusion at the end is very clear, the immune system of the first group is far better than the second.

Professor Daniel Goleman of Harvard University is one of the prominent public figure who widely shared hundreds of researches proving that meditation on compassion heals. In some occasions, Tibetan Yogis were entered into health instrument of MRI. Again the conclusion is the same, compassion heals.

Psychologist Thomas Bien, Ph. D who is also a deep meditator in some of his rich books such as Mindful Therapy, Mindful Recovery, Finding The Center Within, The Buddha’s Way of Happiness, collected many proven researches that come into the similar conclusion. Neuroscientists Rick Hanson, Ph. D with Richard Mendius, MD in their book titled “Buddha’s Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom’, is another rich reference. Paul Gilbert Ph. D a professor at the University of Derby (UK) in his book titled “Compassionate Mind: A New Approach To Life’s Challenge” also contains many research related with meditation on compassion heals. In a simple conclusion, there are two logics that can connect between compassion and healing. First, compassion improves immune system, then body can heal itself. Second, objects of compassion like pets create feeling of being needed. The latest feeling then make life expectancy improve.

Invitation to Act

Back to the previous stories of Balinese art of peace and healing at the beginning of this paper, the perfect compassion (urip lan nguripi) is the natural manifestation of emptiness (nyepi lan ngewindu). Through this kind of compassion one can access the energy of peace and healing everywhere. As an invitation to act, start the journey by going beyond duality, learn to smile to all present of the present, and finally express it with deep compassion. With these steps in hand, we do not only heal ourselves, but also contribute in healing this crying world.

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

Leave a Comment