Compassionate Action

Awakened Heart Spiritual Center on 28 January 2018 & Unity in the Seven Hills on 11 February 2018

To say that we met an inspiring man a few years ago is an understatement. The man is named Richard Moore. Not only were we inspired by him, His Holiness The Dalai Lama has called Richard Moore his hero. Richard’s story is so applicable to this message, so I encourage you to read more about it at We were so touched by his presence, his story, and his generosity that Bob began to write down a song as the event concluded and we left the table that we shared with Richard.

SONG (Bob Sima): Same Energy, from It’s Time

What has happened in your life that has turned your compassion into action? Maybe you never started an international non-profit organization that captured the attention of the Dalai Lama, but I know there is something that motivated you to take action. Whether it be compassion for yourself or compassion for another human or compassion for another living thing… I know there is a nugget in there.

The question then becomes, what is the motivation behind the action? I am quite fond of the Enneagram and have learned so much when I finally connected to the truth of who I am – to “my” number. Not from a personality or behavioral perspective, but from a motivation perspective. Every number within the Enneagram philosophy can experience the same situation yet their responses will be motivated by completely different things. Understanding why our behaviors – whether self-sustaining or self-sabotaging – are triggered is a massive lesson in compassion for ourself. And once that is in place, it is much easier to have compassion for others.

For example, I am an achiever archetype. I am heart-centered so I am led more by my feelings than my gut or my brain. I tend to feel valuable when I accomplish things and can show people that I accomplished things. So taking action is part of my nature. I’m task-oriented, goal-oriented, value-oriented. Doing things makes me feel good because I can see that I had an impact on a situation. Whether a private personal project or being part of something I believe in that is someone else’s dream. If I am contributing to my own or someone else’s benefit, I feel love and I feel loved.

I also have tendencies to take on more than what I can actually handle effectively and efficiently. And efficiency and organization are also part of my nature. When my environment is disrupted by anything, large or small, I feel a disharmony to the core of my very soul; I feel wounded and disabled; I am unable to accomplish and contribute; I lose my sense of self.

So how do I bring compassion into the equation? For myself and for others?

In those moments when I feel “out of sorts”, how do I bring compassion into the equation? For myself and for others? Especially for those others who may be pulling my trigger?

In that crucial moment, often that split second that we have to choose our next action… how do we culture a personal belief that we will always choose compassionate action? Richard Moore never hesitated. He didn’t have to work through years of anger or rage or resentment or hatred toward the soldier. He chose. In the moment. Then he allowed his compassion to turn into inspired action.

If the same energy creates every thing we have contact with, we have a choice to make about what kind of energy we wish to contribute to that every thing within our personal experience. It’s the same energy that makes the flood that moves the blood and places the blame; turns on the power and raises the flower and raises an eyebrow and raises the game. Richard Moore raised his game and his story, alone, inspires others to raise their own game.

How do we raise our game? Today we will go through a process from a contemplative space, setting intention and allowing time to expand our experience straight into our hearts. So that – at a future moment of choice – when offered that split second – we might quickly recall what we cultivate here today and more often choose compassionate action.

I invite you to get comfortable. Get in touch with your breath. Now connect to a situation when you chose a less compassionate response or reaction than you would have preferred. Recall the emotions, the feelings, and the person or people immediately affected. Now connect that memory to the stories that led up to your choice of that reaction. Remember the person or people who shaped a story or a belief within you that created unrest and planted a trigger point within you that was waiting for this memory to be pulled. Observe yourself making the connections and linking the end of the story back several chapters. In this moment of contemplation, you don’t judge the path or the people along this path. You simply acknowledge them and bring them into awareness.

It is now time to offer a prayer of forgiveness to yourself for your non-compassionate moment and to all the others – living and no longer living – who contributed to that moment directly or indirectly. Forgiveness breeds compassion.

SONG (Bob Sima): Ho’oponopono, from The Movers The Shakers and The Peacemakers

Stay in that space and from a place of compassion we can now take action to rewrite the impact that this story had on your life and on the lives of others when you were triggered into a non-compassionate state. Keep in your consciousness all the players that you identified and forgave. That was the first step. It is now time to send them a blessing of love. It is time to take compassionate action to transmute the energetics into loving kindness. As you surround yourself with all the players, you will soon be invited to sing a blessing to each and every one of them. As you are healing, they are healed, and the healing energy can ripple into the lives of every person they touch and they touch and they touch until the entire Earth is lit up with compassionate love.

SONG (Bob Sima): Metta, from The Movers The Shakers and The Peacemakers

You just made a difference. Within yourself and within others. A simple process. A simple song. Take a moment to associate the feeling in your heart with something tangible. Allow that item to be your compassion trigger every time you see it.

———The Starfish Story, by Loren Eisley (ref HuffPost)

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said… “I made a difference for that one.” ———

I made a different for that one. That one is part of a collective whole. So affecting that one effects the collective. When we believe that we can bring compassion into each moment of our lives, when we can forgive on the spot, when we can bless anyone in our consciousness, when our perspective lens is full of love… we then can open our hearts to understanding.

We can’t always relate to others from a place of “knowing” exactly what they are experiencing. But we can do our best to try to understand. And we can always bless them “for they know not what they do”. Oftentimes that phrase is more appropriately stated, “for I know not what I do” because we can’t always relate to our own self because we don’t know exactly what we are experiencing.

When we choose compassionate action in situations that could be perceived as challenging, we become a reminder to ourselves that we can live in that space. We become a model for others that they can also live in that space.

People hurt other people because they are hurt.
Hurt inspires forgiveness.
Forgiveness inspires compassion.
Compassion inspires love.
Love inspires healing.

Hurt people may hurt people, but healed people heal people.

SONG (Bob Sima): Healed People, from The Movers The Shakers and The Peacemakers