Welcome. The podcast above is the audio version of this newsletter. Personally, I enjoy listening as I read along, which allows an enjoyment of the visuals found between the words. I hope you enjoy!
This is our inaugural publication, and I thought it would be good to launch with what inspired me to begin this publication, and why I view compassion to be so vital in our creations and to our human hearts.
Sometimes, no matter how much we desire peace and joy, we gasp in desperation with fear, loneliness, and sadness. Even if our circumstances in life are comfortable, this desperate discontent finds us in the quiet corners of our homes, nestled in those places of no distractions and we feel emptiness fall on us with a weight.
Though those quiet corners beckon us, we plunge headlong into our creations, be it work or family or artistic endeavors, folding into a swirl of activity, barely pausing long enough to listen to what silence is telling us:
“You are not alone. You are safe and loved. You are worthy and magnificent. Slow down. Allow the depth of your heart to hear the call that will bring you home to peace.”
It is in those quiet corners where we can hear silence deep in the heart speak to us and echoes of compassion ring their call, saturating our skin and filling us with a lightness that brings a clarity to our lives. And our troubles, even if they remain, lighten and, sometimes, transform into blessings.
Holding a compass of compassion to guide us as we sail over the many moods of the sea of life can create our days to be peace-filled, full of joy and happiness. And as the very nature of compassion pulls into its warm embrace all sentient beings, we find we hold this mighty compass not just for ourselves any longer, and our true nature begins to unveil. While we tend to our compass, to our true north, we embody this ideal of compassion with more clarity and skill. In this way, our creations become more beautiful, eternal ripples that extend far beyond what we can see.
Yet, the ideal of living in total alignment with compassion can be elusive because we can’t touch it directly. It’s like trying to grasp sunlight. But it is there, pulsing as an ephemeral all-pervasive aspect of reality.
Compassion is like a fire, and we are the dancing flames, not separate, but unique in our expressions. Or, compassion is the flame and we are the warmth.
Perhaps the metaphor in which God or Source is the ocean and we are a fish will strike you. As we swim in the sea, we are unaware of what is water because water is everywhere and there is nothing but water.
Compassion exists in the same way. It is everywhere; it is the flame to our heat and in order to behold it we need a certain type of courage to be still and look deeply and question things honestly. To do so, we bravely sit in those quiet corners where our layers of distractions fall away one at a time.
But why? Why should we bother? We are getting along just fine without all that effort. Are we? Are we totally peaceful? Are the countries of this world kind and loving? Are we kind and loving to ourselves?
When I’m confronted with unkindness, it is difficult not to allow fear and insecurity to fall down like a heavy red curtain upon the stage, blocking the light of compassion. It takes mindfulness to keep that curtain rolled up and secured. Unkindness and other challenging circumstances will arise on our journeys. The good news is that difficulties present an opportunity to shake us awake, to pluck us out of the swirl of daily habits, and be as inspirations to clear our vision in order to behold compassion in its purest state. It is in that beholding that true happiness in the form of peace and joy is steadfast and immovable.
Despite the difficulties, it’s a worthy life when we integrate with the ideal of compassion because compassion is the medicine to cure us of all our sufferings we inflict upon each other and upon ourselves.
That may sound flowery, lofty, and unrealistic, but I don’t mean it to be. After all, we are the warmth of compassion’s flame and hence are inseparable from it, making us capable of realizing this wisdom-kindness and its medicine for the heart.
In order to take the medicine, we need to become both the doctor and the patient. By recognizing we are inseparable from compassion, we become the doctor. When we take action in alignment with compassion, we are taking the medicine and become the patient. In this way, we yolk ourselves to the lofty ideal of compassion.
Most of us think about compassion as warm feelings toward others. And while compassion does contain those beautiful feelings, it’s more than that. It is bigger in its wonder.
it is seeing others as important as yourself.
In Tibetan Buddhism, compassion is associated with the masculine and denotes action, and wisdom is associated with the feminine. Ultimately, they are inseparable from each other. Think of the yin/yang symbol. The wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism teaches that to unleash the full breadth and power of compassion, we must nurture wisdom and vice versa. Consider that wisdom guides compassionate action and compassion guides wisdom. They are the two wings of one bird in flight. Without the other, they are incomplete and cannot touch the clouds. This is why I use the theme of a soaring bird frequently in my work, as you can see in my illustration below.
Tending to our two wings of wisdom and compassion can heal our hearts, and if I may be bold, heal the collective heart of this wondrous world we all dance our lives upon.
At The Creator’s Compass, we aspire to cultivate an ever-deepening embodiment of compassion and wisdom and use that as the ultimate compass to guide our steps in our personal creations, goals, and dreams. My aim is to gather a tribe of warriors for compassion to:
Create a ripple effect of loving-kindness with all our individual endeavors and creations.
Support one another and not gloss over the difficulties of holding strong to the compass of compassion.
I am an artist and author and do my best to use my creator’s compass to guide each word I write. There are many times I delete whole paragraphs, and in one instance, an entire children’s story, because they were not hitting the mark well enough of keeping my compass pointed to fostering loving-kindness. Of course, I falter, fail, and mess up miserably. Yet, I never lose heart because there is no better business to be in than one that aims to find the true value and meaning of this precious life we share.
The list of creating is endless. Maybe you are creating a business, a family, art, a novel, working towards a diploma, manifesting a dream, creating sobriety, or learning to live simply. No matter what we are doing, we can infuse compassion into our creations and aspire to truly and authentically know others to be as important as ourselves.
By acting from this ground of compassion, we will bring the most benefit to those with which our works and gifts resonate, as well as to ourselves. Creating with our compass pointed to the ideal that with a wise and kind heart, and doing our best to act within that wisdom and kindness, our lives have meaning by refining our minds and hearts to love without bounds.
And as John Donahue wrote:
“There is incredible power in a community of people who are together because they care, and who are motivated by the ideals of compassion and creativity.”
So, here we are at the end of our inaugural publication. My intention is for all of us to gather and support one another on our different paths. I will offer more essays, short stories, guided meditations, and anything else that I feel may help us deepen our embodiment of compassion and stay inspired on our journeys! I hope you will share as well in the comment section so we can learn from your wisdom because we are holding this compass together.
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