Home of Compassion

Written by Gede Prama

In many places, a lot of curious people who ask: where is home? Where exactly is our true home? Mainly because too many extreme things have happened that make life uncomfortable. Extreme weather, extreme human behavior, extreme violence.

In many places, a lot of curious people who ask: where is home? Where exactly is our true home? Mainly because too many extreme things have happened that make life uncomfortable. Extreme weather, extreme human behavior, extreme violence.

Souls are Homesick
Borrowing the perspective of Balinese elder, in time when extreme events happen many times with deeper intensity, the elders always turn to the shrine. In this light, violence and confusion are signs that many souls are homesick.

Sense of home is very diverse. But most inner inquiries who already breathe the cool air of spirituality knows, home is similar to childhood. After school hours we ran into home, to a place where everything is greeted with smile and hug. Home is similar to travelling using open truck that move to the top of the mountain. The longer we go the cooler the weather is. And it’s not by chance that a cool area in Kintamani Bali *), there is a lake (feminine spirit) hug the mountain (masculine spirit). As a result of it, beauty appears everywhere. In this beautiful place, a holy place was built by the elders, and the name is Pura Jati (the True Home). Meaning, gently hug duality, then life can be beautiful and cool as well. That’s why the weather in Kintamani is cool, the scenery is beautiful, and keep sending the messages of returning back home.

At the this level, duality (right-wrong, good-bad, pure-dirty) does not exist as materials to fights. Duality is a power that illuminate each other. It is the same as night that open the door for the coming day. Similar to failure that makes success has a richer flavor. The same thing happen to the crime, it gives a comparison of the beauty of virtue.

Cool Spiritual Fountain
Merged into one, Bali island is not merely a tourist destination, it is a cool spiritual fountain as well. When terrorist bomb exploded in Bali, the world stare in awe to the island of Bali, not because of a stone being thrown into other place of worship, but because of the width of view, the depth of the Balinese attitude that leads to one thing: “everything is embraced gently with a smile”. Honestly, this is a deep peace. Where there is no room for violence, every step is peace coupled with smile.

All of this reminding us of the true home. The true home is a place where we are all brothers and sisters in affection, one parent in mercy, the same roofs as all of us equally want to be happy do not want to suffer. Or apply the formula of elders in Java: mangan ora mangan ngumpul. Friendship, kinship, affection have higher value compared with low desire that just put a full stomach.

In Tibetan holy book was written so bright, we’ve been born countless times. Therefore, there are countless number of creatures in this universe ever be a mother, father, teacher, doctor or nurse ever help and heal us. One who deeply embodying this insight will be starving to help the others.

A teacher in India was asked, how many dead people whose journey going up and going down? Surprisingly, he answered: “the ones who move up are as much as sand in the hand, which moves down as much as sand along the Ganges river”. Imagine, this was two thousand and six hundred years ago. In a time where it was not heard any destructive weapon that we currently have. Now, where the so-called news is hostility, what people read and watch is only fight, the daily conversation is hatred, without deep spiritual realization those who fall down into animals, demons and even hell after death even more.

Go Home
Opening the secrets like this, certainly not to scare people, but to ring the holy bell again and again: “go home, go home, go home”. Anger, violence, hostility clearly indicating that spiritual children are playing too far from home. Accidents and misfortunes are warning from the Guru. With no other intention other than saving as many spiritual children as possible.

Not everyone like this approach of coming home. Some even accused this invitation as a setback. And of course this opinion is worthy of respect. However, in time when violence has been so heated even in a cool place, we need tenderness. Not only physical body miss home, spiritual body also has a longing for home. Spiritual body is beginning to step home when one is able to see that our nature is kindness. It is as natural as grass which is green and it is as natural as sea which is naturally blue.

Prayers of Compassion
In a home like this, once a touching message heard: “Be compassionate to the power of darkness. Simply understand that they are uninformed. In the right time, they will be full of compassion too”. Darkness, evil, violence is not the fuel of anger, but sandpaper that softening our compassion. More than that, the darkness does not intend itself into darkness. At the right time – as waste evolves into flower – darkness also evolved into a compassionate light.

To put it into practice, one saint of Tibet (Master Langri Tangpa) in the 12th century, once wrote prayers of compassion. Here are the prayers:

First, by thinking of all sentient beings as even better than the wish-granting gem for accomplishing the highest aim, may I always consider them precious.

Second, wherever I go, with whomever I go, may I see myself as lower than all others, and from the depth of my heart may I consider them supremely precious.

Third, may I examine my mind in all actions and as soon as a negative state occurs, since it endangers myself and others, may I firmly face and avert it.

Fourth, when I see beings of a negative disposition or those oppressed by negativity and pain, may I, as if finding a treasure, consider them precious for they are rarely met.

Fifth, whenever others, out of jealousy, revile and treat me in other unjust ways, may I accept this defeat myself and offer the victory to others.

Sixth, when someone whom I have helped or in whom I have placed great hope harms me with great injustice, may I see that one as a sacred friend.

Seventh, in short, may I offer both directly and indirectly all joy and benefit to all beings, my mothers, and may I myself secretly take on all of their hurt and suffering.

Eight, may they not be defiled by the concepts of the eight mundane concerns and, aware that all things are illusory, may they, ungrasping, be free from bondage. **)

With these prayers in the mind and heart, then there is no place on earth which is not holy place. Then all place is home. Welcome home!

*) In this beautiful place of Kintamani Sutan Takdir Alisyahbana, a great poet once lived, wrote many beautiful works. Kintamani also attracts countless visitors for years.

**) HH The Dalai Lama in his work entitled The Compassionate Life (Wisdom Publications 2003) is a touching reference in this case

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.

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