The courage to see what is.

In certain spiritual traditions, the union of knowledge with compassion is wisdom.  When I speak of knowledge, it is self-knowledge that is the greatest gift and power. When we look at ourselves from a place of compassion or caring, we dare to see clearly what is happening in our lives. And yet often there is a fear of seeing what is or what we will discover, because what we see we will have to act on, and if we do we might fail or provoke reactions from those around us. 

To avoid this we refuse to see and act on what needs changing. Through this deliberate blindness we are not allowing ourselves to care. Without caring how can we develop compassion for the suffering of others and ourselves? As a result, we are left committing to the status quo, leaving us vulnerable to accepting the collective beliefs about our world. 

When we work with awareness, concentration while managing our energy, we learn how to face what is in front of us and take the necessary action. It starts with the confidence in our ability to act. If our guts are weak our heart is closed. If our heart is closed our throats tighten, not allowing us to feel what is really happening. 

When our head, heart and gut are united, we accomplish something meaningful for ourselves and beneficial for others. When we reflect on ourselves, willingly investigating our limiting beliefs and concepts, we begin to create a steady stream of insight, understanding and awareness. This is skillful means or self mastery, uniting compassion with wisdom that transforms our lives. Now, Truth is in action in a world so thirsty for human virtues of courage and love.

Practice: Sit quietly for a few minutes and watch your breath, settling the mind and body. Ask yourself: What is arising in my life? What are the victories? What are the challenges? What do I want to do about myself?

(This article was inspired by: Tarthang Tulku, Mastering Successful Work, 1994)