[quote]I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Lao Tzu[/quote]
A part of developing happiness and Eco awareness is the ability to understand and practice compassion; therefore, the quote on the subject compassion is important. A good quote on compassion is the words of Lao Tzu. Who was Lao Tzu? A part of sustainable fashion design is to understand compassion, how can we manufacture clothes and still taking care of the people affected by the production? Read, Sustainability from the buzzword to actual fashion brand performance, time to rethink? How can we improve the way we work with sustainability and sustainable product design locally often in faraway places?
Connected is a tool in developing a sustainable future
We have to think the design process as a whole thing, remember that everything in the world is connected, and that we have an impact when we produce on farmers, local society, economy and health. It can make huge impacts both locally, and in other eras where people involved in a product life cycle. I believe the word connected is essential to understand development of compassion and as a tool for sustainable design. See post about connected. Where we manufacture clothing the most valuable action, we can do is developing a close relationship with local experts. We have to understand that we are not only responsible for our production; we are accountable for development of the regional environment. Therefore, besides taking part, work and act as citizens, we have to understand that we both have responsibilities but also rights.
To develop an Eco lifestyle
To realize and develop an Eco lifestyle is not only to think about reduction and change in ordinary actions, for example, to stop driving the car unnecessary or to wear the right clothes,
it has to go deeper. To develop positive values and feel greater compassion with people who suffer from any action, wherever this person might live is important. We often see terrible things happening or environmental damage on the news taking place faraway places, and because of its long distance where we live, we easy think “that” it’s none of my business, or we cannot help, I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. If we learn to develop greater compassion and begin with people around us that is not a bad start, and if we can learn to widen the circle to include more places, people, their opinions and the color to their skin. We have come far to develop global compassion or Eco compassion as I believe is a better word for it.
How can I possible learn to feel great compassion for people I never see, meet or in places I not at any time visit?
The practice of Lojong to cultivate compassion trough training on the mind
During meditation in my mind, I concentrate to think about people who closest around me, like my family and friends and wish them to have a god day or whatever else that they might suffer from will be healed or become better. The next step I widen this to include the street I live in, and the era of town, next to the town I live in and the state. Further I include the wish for the people in my country to have a good day or to be free from any suffering, and afterwards I follow-up and even widen to include the neighboring countries, Europe and next the world. However, I do not stop there I include every living being on Earth, our galaxy and then the millions of planets, stars and other galaxies far away. I give my love and best wishes that it will be a good day, and that they will have the change to be free from suffering and experience happiness. I recommend the book written by Traleg Kyabgon, The practice of Lojong, Cultivating Compassion trough the training to the mind.
Does it sound strange and meaningless?
It might not have any effect at the beginning. Neither will probably not heal people nor not help anyone as I do not believe I got the superpowers to heal people with my mind, but it helps me to become less ego and selfish and to develop greater compassion and understanding that we are all together in this chaos and not separate from one another; then it makes a difference.
People with great compassion
Too understand compassion we must learn that we are all connected.
The meditation and thinking make it easier to understand, we are connected and my own action can harm others far away, for example, when we harm the environment. When compassion is developing, the habits to shop unnecessary or take decisions that might do bigger harm to the environment become harder to do. We get reminded every day after the news about the extreme weather conditions, it might happen elsewhere, but we are all a part that causes this change to happen. Think about the flooding in New York, who was it to blame? A very good and easy practice on development of compassion is Tonglen on the spot.
Tonglen on the spot
This practice is very easy and useful everywhere at any time, and its recommended for everyone developing compassion. Every day as I walk I see people suffering; it can be that poor beggar, the homeless, and people with a handicap or mental disturbance. I cannot the effort to give everyone’s money, and that is not the intention in Buddhism anyway. However, to develop compassion, I use Tonglen on the spot. When I am walking and see the suffering, I stop up and take a deep breath, taking all the pain from the one I see having a bad time. I breathe in all this pain, on the out breath I take the opposite approach to wish the person I see all good and a solution to their suffering, it can be I visualize and send them flowers, a pleasant day, a nice summer day or whatever positive I find meaning and usefulness in the situation. Once again, I do not believe my mind can cure people, but I become stronger in developing the compassion for others and a sense of well-being often occur even if I like it or not. Be careful practicing cultivating your Ego instead, this is not what is intention are. More about Tonglen and how to practice is to take a course or read a good book on the subject.
What is compassion?
[quote]Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. Buddha[/quote]
To define compassion; wanting others to be free from suffering. Compassion is the highest scope of motivation. To generate real compassion, one needs to be aware of oneself suffering, and that there is a possible way to end suffering. One must realize that other people also want to be free from suffering. It’s nothing strange about seeking for happiness. Read the post
What is happiness?
If one wants to practice compassion, the most important factor is to develop motivation. The highest form of motivation lies in the realization that all sentient beings are suffering within the identical cyclic condition. To understand that others have the same rights to experience happiness, and that they strive to obtain the freedom from suffering. To help people truly without any form of getting something back, not even in action or thoughts are true and noble compassion.
Give with no intention of getting anything in return
If done with the hope that the people you help one day will help you in return, or that they give you any advantage, then again, you only clinching to your own ego and the possibility to develop and cultivate it further occur. This can be bad as you start judging people for not giving back and emotions as hate, anger, jealousy and bitterness can be the outcome. The better we reduce our own ego the more we can help others; this is the highest form for realization of the non-existence. Great compassion is to give without any thoughts of getting something in return.
Symbols of compassion and connection
The intertwining of lines in the eternal knot said to symbolize how everything is connected. It can also represent how religion and secular affairs, as well as compassion and wisdom united and connected to each other. People with great compassion who I have the deep respect Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Thich Nhat Hanh and Nelson Mandela.
Post Kenneth @ buddha jeans
Books I recommend on how to develop compassion