Walking in public places, do you notice the awkwardness of when to make contact with others? Should I look into their eyes? Smile? What if they look up just as I’m looking away? Should I send good energy their way or conserve?
Then I think about how ridiculous the whole concept is if, in fact, the energy isn’t mine to give but ours to share. I sense an obligation to make contact with others who participate in this life with me, as I participate in this life with them. I offer my smiles, my focus, even if it’s just a moment, as it usually is. Maybe that moment of contact, of relation, with all its sincerity and lack of expectation, can be like the butterfly in the chaos theory, changing the course of events for the better.
It only takes a moment to let someone know, “I hear you. I witness you here and now. You are not alone.”
In our Circle of Trust, during our small group time, we conclude each focus person’s time with “We hear you. We honor you. We bless you. We love you. We are blessed by you.” (something like that, anyway) And the miraculous thing is we really mean it. How often do you get to say these words and feel in your heart of hearts the deep connection? This practice is spreading into the rest of my life, opening my heart so that it’s not just those with whom I work closely that I feel a connection, that I experience a deep, genuine love. I daresay this practice of compassion is growing into Compassion.
There is no one point of contact, no quantitative measure of when and where to do this or that in society, regarding when to smile and/or make eye contact or not. It’s just as true to form not to make eye contact, so long as we feel the connection, honor the other and participate in our wholeness.
Your suffering is my suffering. Your joys are my joys. Your life is mine, as mine is yours. I bow to the Buddha in you as you see the Christ in me. Here we are, as One.
I hear you. I honor you. I bless you. I love you. I am blessed by you.