I am taking a course this weekend from Zoketsu Norman Fisher – a Zen Buddhist priest, and a teacher of meditation. In preparation, I read an article he wrote entitled, “Developing Compassion.” He writes, “to be narrowly self-interested and self-identified is simply a very dangerous and unhappy way to live – the wider your interest and larger your sense of identity, the happier and the stronger you will be.”
And this reminds me of words of my mediation teachers, Jack Himmelstein and Gary Friedman, who say that when we mediate, we must be able to hold in our minds the full reality of what each person is saying. That neutrality is not staying squarely in the middle, but in fully understanding each person, really understanding their perspective. And being able to hold both realities in your mind at the same time.
I don’t try to find the truth when I mediate. In a certain way, I don’t care about it. I am not trying to come to my own conclusion about what really happened. I do, however, care deeply about each person’s perspective and perception about what happened. For that is what is real to them.
When I practice this, I believe – I hope – I am practicing the development of compassion.