When we have developed our sense of compassion to the point where we feel responsible for all beings, we are motivated to perfect our ability to serve them. –Dalai Lama
I woke up this morning with the memory of a story I’ve heard when I was younger. It is the story of a young man who wishes to become a monk. He arrived at a temple up in the mountain. He got down on his knee and beg the elderly Monk to accept him as a student at the temple and teach him to be a monk. The elderly did not say much except he gave him a carrying pole and two buckets.
“Starting today, you will travel down to the river and return with your own water. There is no water here. you will join your brothers every morning to bring water back here. ” said the old monk.
“But, I’m here to study and become a monk.” said the young man.
The Old Monk smiled and walked away.
Every morning thereafter at the break of dawn, the young man would join his brothers at the temple and travel miles away down to the river and each carried their own buckets of water and return back to the temple. The young man did poorly with his task. His shoulder was too weak. He spilled so much water on his returning trip and essentially end up with empty buckets by the time he got back. Other days he had to stopped and rest too many times and ultimately missed his suppers.
The young man was mad. He threw away his carrying pole and buckets and went up to the old monk and said “I don’t want to do this anymore. Teach me to be a monk!”
The old monk smiled and said to the young man.
“I am. Have you not learned your lesson?”
It turns out, the old monk was teaching the young man something very simple. Look inside, to find your own inner peace. Look inside, to find your wisdom. Our perspectives on how we see external beings is driven by our emotions. “Anger, jealousy, impatience, and hatred are nothing but a troublemaker,” said Dalai Lama.
One of my favorite gospel from the bible comes from Luke 17:20-21.
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “the kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, “Here it is’. or there it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.
“Do not follow me, I am only a human.” said the Buddha. “Don’t believe me, don’t believe anybody, don’t accept anything based on tradition. Don’t believe anything based on the fact that your community believes this or your country believes this or the people that you around believe this.”
Through the process of familiarizing ourselves with the virtues of love, compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance bring about our happiness. We embody those virtues to realize the profound truth that is hidden from us in our daily lives.
The essence of all religions and philosophy is the same. Love, compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance leading to mutual respect are the fundamental values in humanity. Look inside and practice these inner values. Live a life with principles. Cultivate compassion and equanimity in our everyday lives.
Living in compassion is inevitably the ultimate fulfillment of human beings. But what is even more important on an individual level is the realization of self-healing, self-love, self-soothe is absolutely possible to achieve. Through all the teachings that have been passed down from generations to generations, whether it was Jesus or Buddha, we are all of the same kind. Bone and Flesh capable of redeeming ourselves, regenerate, and rebirth.