Ocean of Compassion

Written by Gede Prama

Responding to questions of a critical young man, a teacher asked two spoons of salt from his student. The first spoon of salt was poured into a small cup which is full of water. The second spoon of salt was mixed into water in a big pond. As a result, while in the little cup the water tasted very salty, in the big pond there is no sign that the water is salty.

The spiritual message behind this story is simple, most suffering happened because the mind and the heart are very small and narrow. But once the mind and the heart can be broadened into as wide as space, then one can attain more peace and less suffering.
The following question then, what should we do to broaden both the mind and the heart? Look deeply into the baby’s eyes. It looks such bright and peaceful because they are free from any judgment. In the eyes of a baby, life is perfect as it is.

But once the baby grows older, the aura of peace and innocence begin to disappear. It is replaced by the aura of judgment and punishment. To be frank, that is the origin of the small mind and the narrow heart.
The social environment which is poor of example, education system which is full of punishment, parents who have very limited maturity, religions which are used as vehicle of violence, are only some parts of the factors behind the narrow mind and the small heart.

The good news then, there is always way out to every problem. Patience and tolerance as indicators of open mind and broad heart are similar to rubber band. As long as you are diligent to pull the rubber band slowly, one day it is loosening.

The harming enemies, the troubling children, the suspicious neighbor, over demanding boss, grumpy spouse are some of symbolical Gurus in nature which are ready to make the rubber bands of patience and tolerance loosening from day to day.

As long as one is diligent and patience the last rubber band will getting loose. Understanding is the first lesson to remember. Especially learn to understand that we are all do not want to suffer, we are all want to be happy. If you want to go deep, learn to understand the complicated networks behind the harming enemies.

Behind those problematic people, there is complicated network of the past which is full of suffering such as deeply wounded childhood, parents who fail to be the role model, the unorganized education system. When this complicated network is unveiled, by then the flower of understanding blossoms, the rubber band of patience loosened. As a result, not only patience arises, flowers of compassion also bloom.

Frankly speaking, those people who keep disturbing and harming, they were not born to disturb your spiritual journey, and they were born to open your mind and to broaden your heart. That’s why on the path of compassion is often mentioned, the troubling enemies are spiritual diamonds who are here to lighten your spiritual journey. Moreover, only under the guide of troubling enemies one can see life as an ocean of compassion.

Author: Gede Prama.
Photo Courtesy: Twitter @Nyomandian.

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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.


  • Very good. Even the process of the baby gaining a sense of judgement over time is in right order. Learn to trust natural order and the things that happen for more joy and amazement. Even in a heart broken state the emptiness is there for us.

  • I like these words so much. They help me to know my self clearly, to help others, to understand their reasons, to accept them as they are. I liked the Idea of being of rubber mind and heart. I can say may things about that now. But I will save your time.
    All love and respect

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