Compassion is threatening to the ego. We might think of it as something warm and soothing, but actually it’s very raw. When we set out to support other beings, when we go so far as to stand in their shoes, when we aspire to never close down to anyone, we quickly find ourselves in the uncomfortable territory of “life not on my terms.” The second commitment, traditionally known as the Bodhisattva Vow, or warrior vow, challenges us to dive into these noncozy waters and swim out beyond our comfort zone.
Our willingness to make the first commitment is our initial step toward relaxing completely with uncertainty and change. The commitment is to refrain from speech and action that would be harmful to ourselves and others and then to make friends with the underlying feelings that motivate us to do harm in the first place. The second commitment builds on this foundation: we vow to move consciously into the pain of the world in order to help alleviate it. It is, in essence, a vow to take care of one another, even if it sometimes means not liking how that feels.
from the book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Pema Chödron.
Further quotes from the book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change:
- Holding a diversity party in our living room
- What are you doing when you are unhappy
- A Wall of Truth
- Just our personal viewpoint
- Unfettered mind
- The real cause of our suffering
- The mandala of our life
- We Have a Choice
- Building Inner Strength
- Difficult relationships
- Stepping-stones for awakening our compassion
- Forever in flux
- Everything and everyone is in process
- Embracing the groundlessness of our situation
- The knack of refraining
- The detox period
- Renouncing one thing
- Practicing with Strong Emotions