Practice Feeling Compassion
Compassion is specifically about the ability to feel another’s experience of suffering. This Beauty practice is purposely not expressed as “practice being compassionate” as I don’t know if one can be compassionate until one has really felt compassion on a somewhat regular basis. Can one routinely choose a behavior, have an emotion one has not experienced? Studies of the brain show that compassion doesn’t always come naturally, but that it can be learned. So we must exercise the “compassion muscle,” learn compassion, in order to use it with ease and regularity.
Compassion is the root expression of awareness of the universality of the ability to experience pain — no matter its origin or reason; no matter species, race, intelligence or preferences. Compassion is the Great Leveler, the Great Unifying Knowing. The Dalai Lama has been widely quoted as saying:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
What does this have to do with Beauty? If we can objectify an Other, disassociate ourselves from “Them,” it is easy to find fault, ugliness, un-beauty. Once, however, we can truly feel compassion, we can practice being compassionate…from a place of sincerity, without artifice. We glimpse into the “oneness.” Compassion allows us to be able to see/feel there, into the experience of an other. We enter the possibility of experiencing harmony between the other and ourselves — and it is harmony that begets True Beauty.
Compassion is the basis of all morality, and I posit, the basis and beginning of one’s awareness of True Beauty.