What Does Compassion In Action Look Like?
If you want the universe to fully support you, then take the time to put compassion into action. What does this mean exactly? It means putting out the antennas of the heart, becoming aware of the needs of people around you. It means giving considered thought about how you can help him or her and then taking action to help meet the need.
One way to do this is to teach another person how to chant. This is compassionate because it is giving them the tool to come out of suffering. But this isn’t the only way. Another is to chant for someone who is suffering, or to be willing to put aside your own life, when someone needs you to support them.
People have many needs that can benefit from compassion. Is there a shut-in on your block that is lonely and needs a warm friendly look in from time to time? Is there an older person living alone, who needs help with errands, to get the mail, or to get to bed at night? Do you try to create harmony in your neighborhood when there is conflict? Doing these things is compassion in action.
Then chant for the people or situations you are handling. These actions can help break through the loneliness brought about through isolation, and help to create community. Chanting and taking such actions can transform your life.
Encourage the Law of Cause & Effect to Work For You.
When you do these kinds of things you are encouraging the law of cause and effect to work for you. We know that when we make good causes, good effects are the result. The direct line between cause and effect may not be clear as the universe is often more indirect. Here is an example of how it works. Let’s say you help others out of compassion supporting them for a large part of the day. You arrive home at night, exhausted and don’t have any food in the refrigerator. Too tired to think of shopping you are surprised when a neighbor knocks on the door and, unasked, has brought you supper. The universe has supported your need.
Experienced practitioners often make good causes, when facing a difficult obstacle. I have seen practitioners throw themselves into volunteer work for the organization, make an effort to support other people and find people to start in the practice. Another Buddhist practitioner has made herself the heart of her neighborhood, by helping her neighbors when needed.
Just studying Buddhist philosophy doesn’t create the kind of transformation that putting compassion into action can create. Your whole life will become rich in relationships and community, and become an inspiration and an example to other people. You will be supported by the universe.
Compassion is the Soul of Buddhism
“Compassion is the very soul of Buddhism. To pray for others making their problems and anguish our own; to embrace those who are suffering, becoming their greatest ally; to continue giving them our support and encouragement until they become truly happy-it is in such humanistic actions that the Daishonin’s Buddhism lives and breathes.”
Daisaku Ikeda, For Today & Tomorrow, p.363