Many of us come to meditation just because we are stressed-out or want to take better care of ourselves. Yet at a certain point in your spiritual journey, you can no longer ignore all the suffering that surrounds you. Compassion blossoms naturally as you start to recognize the suffering in the world, and then one day you realize that your path is not just about your own situation, it’s about creating a difference in our world.
It’s hard to find a way to do that, particularly given the fact that our role models are few and far between. The remarkable thing is that as our society currently stands, famous people are often famous for all the wrong reasons. It is not that they are talented in a given field, but rather that they are rich or they film themselves having sex. Between the tabloids and gossip websites, these people get promoted to an almost godlike celebrity status. The celebrity heirs and heiresses of the world are looked up to by the masses, who envy the celebrities’ lifestyle while simultaneously taking pleasure in their countless humiliations.
All too often we try to cover over this vulnerable heart in an attempt to not get hurt. It’s only natural to want to shrink away from being open and genuine all the time when the world is filled with aggression. However, developing a willingness to be vulnerable is no different than developing a willingness to be alive. If we continually try to protect ourselves, if we always attempt to avoid embarrassment, challenge, or chaos, we will find ourselves trapped in a prison of our own defenses. Although nothing can get through to threaten us, we cannot feel anything, either. It is the path of the warrior to poke through their cocoon of defenses and share their heart with the world.