The Compassionate Insight Center is a training ground for compassionate activity based on the awareness developed through insight and compassion training. The joining together of awareness, compassion and action are keys to bringing about transformation within oneself and the community. In this day and age, where self-promotion has become the modus operandi, alienation from others and ultimately from ourselves brings about unhappiness and suffering. Since we all want to be happy and we are all interconnected it behooves us to be compassionate to others.
A life rich in kindness and awareness leads to a meaningful life. What each of us does has an effect in the world. Although we may not see the result of our individual actions directly, they are there nonetheless. We influence our family whose members go to school, to work, and into the community and influence others in either a positive or a negative way, this influence spreads like the ripples of a stone dropped into a body of water. The more positive the connections we make the more positive and happier world we will have. CIC is dedicated to bringing about compassion and insight into the community and institutions through integrating the insight and compassionate awareness that arises through the practice of meditation and using it to train others how to access this same compassion and insight in themselves and then share it with others. World peace can only come about through the inner well-being of individuals and compassion towards others.
Stanford University studies compassion, they define it in the following manner; “Compassion is a natural quality of the mind. It is a mental state focused on others’ pain or suffering and is coupled with a wish or aspiration to see their suffering alleviated.” Through the development of our minds towards its natural state, compassion, there is the potential to experience long-term happiness that is not dependent so much on outer conditions as on our mental state. The application of training in compassion can have an impact on broader social issues and bring about a change in our general well-being and happiness, as well as the wellbeing and happiness of others.
Insight, is the experience of the innate wisdom that resides in each of us. Meditation is the way to experience this wisdom. Attention is directed inside to the experience of the inner world and into the present moment. Those who have taken up these practices can be transformed through the insight that arises based on the simple act of resting. Scientists are discovering, meditation has many benefits that include changes to the brain that promote well-being.
Tibetan Buddhists who have been meditating for years have found an even more profound benefit, realization, there are many who have been able to transcend the ordinary constraints of the mind and rest in pure awareness. The Dalai Lama is a good example of this kind of training. He says he meditates for 4 hours each morning. If you have ever been in his presence, you know the effect this kind of training can have. His awareness and compassion shine through to even the most ordinary of us.
Through our actions we can make changes in the world that will benefit others. Thinking about change isn’t enough. Becoming more compassionate ourselves and then stepping into the world and helping others through compassionate and altruistic activities will make the world a better place. The gift of living compassionately is finding meaning and joy in our lives. Human beings are dependent on each other in more ways than we can list. Violence based on self-aggrandizement and selfish desires has brought about destruction and violence. There is a saying, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Where kindness and compassion are present there is altruism and joy.
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