Do not underestimate the power of compassion!
It is the gateway to your health and healing. Compassion is the framework for all other virtues, and above all it can be viewed as an essential characteristic of true consciousness. Consciousness expands when smaller entities share their contribution to awareness. Sharing of consciousness means becoming aware of another entities existential experience, and thus expanding awareness in the process. Thus through compassion a greater consciousness forms with transformational power. We believe that compassion is an essential force that allows billions of separate entities to unite on both a microscopic (i.e. cellular level) and macroscopic ( i.e. human population) level, while still prioritizing the experience of each individual.
Compassion for Self
The Golden Rule springs from this virtue (i.e. love your neighbor as yourself). I hope you can see that for the Golden Rule to work you must love yourself! Thus health starts by having a deep compassion for yourself which can then be shared as compassion for others. Compassion for self means self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and self-importance. Remember that you are an emperor in a kingdom with 37 trillion subjects and take time to shower them with compassion by truly tuning in and listening to your cells.
Cellular Communication = Symptoms
Our cells communicate information about their internal condition and status through the creation of symptoms such as pain (i.e. headaches, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, etc), skin conditions (i.e. acne, eczema, rash, hypersensitivity) and a whole host of other symptoms (i.e. nausea, muscle twitching, cramps, bloating, shortness of breath, tinnitus, tooth grinding, allergic responses, canker sores, etc). In our busy world we often feel we do not have time to stop and listen to what our cells are trying to tell us. Our minds may then respond to our body’s communication with a tough Spartan approach of either ignoring it or attempting to mute the communication through forceful means such as the use of medications that eliminate the symptoms without targeting the cause of the symptom.
This forceful approach to dealing with symptoms may appear to work for some time, but ultimately it wreaks havoc upon our health, as the harmonious and compassionate working relationship between the mind and body degrades.
A better approach is for the mind to be compassionate with the body just as a husband should be compassionate with his wife. Rather than simply complaining about the complaint (i.e. complaining about the symptom) the mind must first embrace it with compassion and then take the time to seek the proper solution. This willingness to listen and respond properly to your cells is a major step towards health. There are many disciplines that help to increase your self-awareness and your ability to listen to your body such as prayer, stretching, yoga, meditation and tai chi.
Showing compassion to the body at this level will require an immediate sacrifice for the mind in terms of its perceived productivity, but if productivity comes at the cost of lost health then a choice must be made. The important thing is to keep the dialogue alive between the mind and the body, and not to forget Virgil’s quote “The greatest wealth is health”.
Spontaneous Healing = Act of Compassion
Just as the mind demonstrates compassion on the body by listening to it, the body shows compassion through spontaneous healing. The body has the ability to heal itself and this healing process requires compassionate sacrifice on the cellular level since the battle for healing usually requires cellular casualties.
Although we do not know much about the level of consciousness of individual cells, according to the American theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku we would expect individual cells to have a quantifiable level consciousness based on the number of feedback loops that they respond to. The feedback loops of a cells consciousness are wired to respond with a form of compassion such that individual cells will sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the body and thus to allow healing to take place. So for example, cells that are defective will respond to signals from other cells, resulting in apoptosis (i.e. programmed cell death).
The discussion above highlights how compassion is central to the process of healing.
Technology can help increase self-awareness by providing reminders for a stretch, for a workout or for taking a deep breath. Technology also plays a role in tracking information that is important for the minds proper response to symptoms, allowing advanced correlation techniques to be applied between variables like diet, sleep, exercise, and environment and symptoms.
Compassion for self means investing time and money in your health!
Compassion for Others
It is amazing that we often heal best by trying not to focus on our own pain! The Golden Rule helps us to realize that there are always people worse off than ourselves. It reminds us that although we need to take out time for ourselves, a balanced amount of time should be spent helping others. The important emphasis here is on balance. If you spend more time helping others than taking care of your own health you will likely end up sick and then not be able to help anyone. If you spend more time taking care of yourself then helping others then you may also end up getting sicker by virtue of the golden equation (i.e. consider the hypochondriac). You will end up getting stressed out about your health and the stress alone will make you sick.
Technology plays a huge role in keeping us informed of outreach efforts geared towards helping others. It can also be used to increase awareness of those whose needs are not being met.
Compassion for others means investing time and money in the health of others.
“Care givers should first compassionately place themselves in the shoes of the person they are trying to help before approaching to help” (personal communication from Prestor Saillant Sr). For healing to take place we need to remember to surround ourselves with compassion, so that it is our first interface to others.
Compassion and Sacrifice
True compassion entails a measure of sacrifice and this is why the color associated with it is red. Red is the color of blood when it comes into contact with oxygen. It is understood by all religions that individual sacrifice for the betterment of others is the highest human calling. The color red is a reminder that we should be ready to give our all in the battle for a more compassionate future.