Where Are You, Kuan Yin?

Where Are You, Kuan Yin?

FullSizeRenderMany years ago, while attending massage therapy school, one of the instructors was leading a guided meditation. I drifted off into my own journey and had the following experience: I walked down a stone staircase that spiraled deep into the earth. Eventually the stairs led into water and I stood in water up to my shoulders. Suddenly a woman dressed in white appeared. She looked like a Kuan Yin statue. She cradled and rocked me in the water. I remember the sensation of peace, rest and renewal after more than 20 years. 

There are many stories about Kuan Yin and one that resonates with me portrays her as the Bodhissatva of Compassion, who looks upon the world with and vows to help all beings. She is known as the flame of mercy and compassion and is the ‘Mary’ of the east.

SimoneLipscomb (7)I’ve been searching for compassion lately…calling it, pleading with it to show itself on our planet.

On a personal level, finding compassion for countries that continue to slaughter whales challenges me. In fact, I am angry that Japan insists on this slaughter. And Taiji, where the local fishermen have over-fished their waters and blame the dolphins so round them up and slaughter them each year. Honestly, I go a little postal if I think too much about their senseless actions. It’s difficult to keep my center, to feel love…to imagine compassion.

_TSL1998copyAfter this year’s trip to visit humpback whales that included time in the water with them in which I floated peacefully with them in meditation, I have absolutely no doubt they are sentient beings. I watched mothers teach babies how to fin slap, tail lob, spy hop and breach. I saw a male and female swim off with the very tips of their fifteen feet long pectoral fins touching after spending time communing together…such tenderness. I watched a mother and baby and male rest for hours and allow us to watch, snorkeling twenty feet away in sheer bliss. These animals are social, they have communication skills that surpass ours but because they are different than us, live in an ocean and don’t drive cars, eat fast food, etc etc some humans think of them as ‘less than.’

It’s easy to feel helpless when violence against cetaceans and other wildlife occurs or when humans are hurt through violence of actions or words. When hundreds of acres are cleared for development it’s challenging to know how to empower ourselves.

_TSL2010copyJane Goodall said this, “There is a lot we can do, each and every one of us, just by trying to make the world around us a better place. It can be very simple: we can make a sad or lonely person smile; we can make a miserable dog wag his tail or a cat purr; we can give water to a little wilting plant. We cannot solve all the problems of the world, but we can often do something about the problems under our noses. We can’t save all the starving children and beggars of Africa, of Asia, but what about the street children, the homeless, the aged in our own hometown?”

Instead of trying to solve all of the world’s problems, why not begin with something nearby and practice compassion there. Choose one issue on which to focus and pour our hearts into it. Listen to the passion that wells up within and allow it to direct our energies.

Sunday Sea Turtle Buddies
Sunday Sea Turtle Buddies

It’s not that we can call on some mythological being to come save us from our self-created hell. We can call forth the qualities of mercy and compassion within ourselves to create the changes we wish to see within the world.

SimoneLipscomb (15)Where are you Kuan Yin? Within each of us willing to look inside.

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