To Err on the Side of Compassion

Today it rains...

But I tell myself that on some level it is is truly cleansing. I want to let go of so many feelings I have harbored of late - not all of them positive. Some of these have included harsh judgment. I have not always erred on the side of compassion these last couple of weeks, and I don't like that about myself. So, as I drive in the rain, honored to go take the seat of the teacher in my own teacher's seat - I resolve to forgive myself for my own failings - so that I can truly forgive others their own...

And yet it feels today like the aftermath after the explosion of a bomb. An era has ended, and all that remains is devastation.

I am reminded of a poignant scene in the movie "The Pianist," when Adrian Brody, the actor who played a Polish Jew, who was also a gifted concert pianist, steps into freedom after having spent months hidden in an apartment. But the city of Warsaw is in complete ruins and it practically took my breath away. Nothing but rubble for miles to see. What was it like to actually see that? And how could anyone have had it in him or herself to rebuild from there?

This scene is so haunting and very symbolic for me right now. How does one rebuild such a mess? Think for example, of how long it took to clear out the debris of the Twin Towers after 9/11... And I know what that looked like, because I saw it with my own eyes...

And yet, as a community, rebuild we must, and rebuild we will, but most probably in some different way. I believe a phoenix always rises from the ashes. I really do. Because I believe in Hope! And I believe in love and community.

Today, I feel a lot of compassion - most especially for a mortal man who fell so highly from grace. No one should be judged by their worst transgressions, as I said to my students and friends this week. Look at what was created! We would not have become this community reaching all the corners of this planet, nor would we have been given the tools to heal ourselves and others had not one man's vision taken us there. That does not change...

As one wise colleague observed: Be careful what you ask for when you open to grace! Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get! So true! You ask to receive what you most need for growth on so many levels and you get that - but maybe not packaged in the way you were expecting...

Another wise colleague offered that we should consider our own shadows, especially in this moment when so many are focusing on the shadows of one individual. This also rings true for me...

This week, I played off a famous quote by John F. Kennedy and asked students to:

"Ask not what Anusara yoga can do for you, but what you can do for Anusara."

Meaning - do not ask what this practice can do for you. You already know the answer to that. You have already received what you needed from it on so many levels. You are here! You've experienced community and well-being.

Instead, consider what you can offer to your community of teachers and students who are hurting, who are angry and are in pain. What gifts do you have to offer? Tap into that - and shine it out!

Yes - we acknowledge this minefield before us - and devastation that knows no bounds. But love will prevail. I REALLY do believe that!

Let us support one another and rebuild. But let us do it with compassion for all - the transgressor and the transgressed!


Mindy said…
So beautiful and powerful Olga!!
Olga Rasmussen said…
Thank you Mindy!

Thanks so much, Olga. I am still meditating, reflecting, reading, and listening. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this heartbreaking but potentially strengthening issue.
Thanks so much, Olga. I am still meditating, reflecting, reading, and listening. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this heartbreaking but potentially strengthening issue.
JoY said…
For sure.. Love it. What can I do? Love it up. Keep teaching and continue to learn.

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