"Compassion for me is just what the word says; it is 'suffering with'. It is an immediate participation in the suffering of another to such a degree that you forget yourself and your own safety and spontaneously do what is necessary." ~ Joseph Campbell
In light of world events and the devastating tragedy in Japan, it seems important to reflect on the concept of "compassion." According to several spiritual traditions, compassion is an attribute of our true nature. It is not something we need to cultivate, but rather simply undercover. Like mining a diamond or chipping away unnecessary stone as the artist creates her sculpture, we recognize habits, attitudes and beliefs that don't support compassion and clear them away.
Compassion emerges from our hearts and we find ourselves being held in the great womb of the universe - that primordial place of protection and safety. Then each of our hearts opens and we hold each other. The world and all of us in it need to be held. Then we need to "spontaneously do what is necessary."