In case you are new here, I am attempting to blog every day for a month. I think this plan will actually end up as 30 posts – some random, some insightful, some moaning and groaning… Maybe it will take me 45 days to accomplish this, we shall see.
In this post, I want to mention something which crossed my mind yesterday. In Buddhism, you hear about certain masters who could only attain a certain level of realization after they had done some act of pure compassion. And keep in mind that by pure compassion I mean unadulterated, unconditional, agenda-free conduct – just wanting to be kind or generous or helpful to another being with nothing promised in return. I think pure compassion is difficult for most people.
This thought came to mind last night as I am presently cat sitting and house sitting at a friend’s apartment. I was wearing a fairly nice shirt as I lay down on the bed next to their ancient cat (he is 13 or 14 and he seems very arthritic). He is also very friendly so he immediately came closer to me, attempting to get his paws on my hip. That did not work, so I picked him up and put him on my chest. After a few seconds of lying there, my stomach gurgled in a good way (indicating I was comfortable and safe and moving toward a state of relaxation).
So I would say I did an act of pure compassion – wishing the cat well – but then, later, I realized that he had been lying on my nice shirt! So suddenly attachment crept back into the equation. However, this made me wonder about something.
If I felt compelled because of certain vows I have taken to recite a certain number of prayers every night, how much benefit is that actually bringing me? How much merit is continued or created if I have inner resistance toward doing my practice? While at the same time, if I am truly doing an act of pure compassion, how much merit is created in that instant – if it is actually possible to practice purely? I wonder.
I might think that in terms of a day to a day comparison, the random act of pure compassion might be more beneficial than a mala round of mantras done with resistance and angst. However, at the same time, continuing the momentum of doing that practice, resistance or not, would probably be the better bet.
These are just my thoughts on the matter. I am not realized to know which is more correct. And…
After sleeping there the first night, that friggen cat must have woken me up five or six times… so I’m no longer sure there will be much pure compassion being bantered about! 🙂 Especially after it lay down on my head several times, for no obvious reason (it had food in its dish).
Thanks for reading,