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“The Buddha was once asked what compassion is and he answered, “If you want to know what compassion is, look into the eyes of a mother as she cradles her fevered, ill child.” Compassion is a true vastness of heart and a depth of wisdom that listens to, embraces, and receives suffering. It is an antidote to hostility, resistance, and division. Learning to listen to the sounds of the universe is learning to soften and melt our armory of fear, mistrust, and imprisonment in a separate self. Compassion is not a quality to romanticize, idealize, or project into a future moment. Nurturing compassion does not depend upon personal perfection. We meet suffering, pain, and confusion every day of our lives. The homeless person on the street, the frail parent, the hurt child, the stressed executive, the alienated teenager. It is not easy to open our hearts to the bottomless depths of pain in the world. We hold in our hearts our own mortality and the mortality of others. All life is fragile; we live in a fragile world. health turns to illness, well-being to pain, safety to uncertainty, life to death; none of us can control the countless supports upon which our well-being rests. The moments of sorrow and confusion we meet are moments that invite us to cultivate a listening heart, to let go of separation, and to be present with every cell of our being. The difficult moments and encounters in our lives are the gateways of compassion. Our enemies are angels of compassion in disguise, inviting us to be present, to attend, and to receive. Here we discover for ourselves the healing, balancing power of compassion.’”  Christina Feldman

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