So — Think You’re Compassionate?

This is the Sufi Prayer written backwards! See if you can read it.

This is the Sufi Prayer written backwards! See if you can read it.

(Below is a monthly reminder I send out. I want you to see how I am involved with the Compassion Movement in my hometown. Perhaps you can start something similar in your own neighborhood? Spread the Word, please!)

Hello Compassionate Friend,

You can bet ALL of us think we’re compassionate. But are we, really?

Please join us this week to discuss how we can expand our thinking about this vital subject. We talk about everything from how to be more compassionate in our own lives as well as in our circle and community. Simply by thinking more deeply about compassion we help BE the solution to life’s many challenges. Join us and help spread the growing awareness about compassion’s great healing power.

ALL are invited to an open discussion of Compassion
Wednesday evening, October 2, 2013, 7-8pm
(note: we meet EVERY 1st Weds)
At the community building of St. Cyprian’s Center at 130 Martin Luther King Ave, close to Lovett St in Lincolnville

Why talk about it?

Because the more something is talked about, the more our consciousness is affected, influenced, and changed. In the case of talking about compassion, we in the Compassion Movement believe that universally applying The Golden Rule is the solution to all the many problems that beset our fractured world today.  “Compassion is the sign of strength. Anger is the sign of weakness.” (His Holiness the Dalai Lama in May, 2013 at Youth Engaging Compassion conference in Louisville, Kentucky.)

Talk/Walk Compassion Discussion Group is an eclectic group of citizens who gather the first Wednesday of each month to discuss aspects of compassion. This is not a self-help group but rather … a Change-Maker group.

Here in St. Augustine our City Commissioners just declared ours a “Compassionate City” — the first in Florida!!and only the 20th in the entire world to take this positive leadership stand to promote inclusiveness and healing. Spreading awareness of compassion is the purpose of our discussion group. Our goal is to help heal our challenged world, one person at a time. Starting with our own selves.

Our only affiliation is with the
Please feel free to PASS THIS EMAIL ON to any you think might be interested.

For further information about our monthly discussion group or how you can get involved with the Compassion Movement, please respond to this email or use one of the contacts below.

Sincerely yours,
Ervin Bullock and teZa Lord, organizers of the group

(for mapquest:)
St. Cyprian’s Community Center
130 M L King Ave
St. Augustine, FL  32084

LOCAL contact:

on Facebook: St. Augustine Initiative for Compassion
MAIN site for the International Compassion Movement:

How to Be Passionate about Compassion

the Tipping Point

the Tipping Point

When enough of us share with others that Compassion is the answer to our current global dilemma … the world will transform into a higher realm of understanding the diversity of our human condition. Now that so many of us are already aware of this need … we have arrived at “the Tipping Point” … the number of awakened souls already achieved, to ignite a worldwide transformation. We have done this one person at a time. YOU can help the Love Revolution already afoot by becoming more involved with thinking, and acting compassionately. Help spread the word that Compassion is needed to bridge gaps between people all across the globe: caused by political, cultural, and religious differences. There are many ways you can help.

The first is visit the Charter for Compassion’s website and add your “click” (your voice) to affirm the idea of a compassionate world. The Charter for Compassion is the worldwide grassroots movement, originally sponsored by TED (after Karen Armstrong won the “wish” of 2008). The Charter’s work is dedicated to spreading the word and educating others about the necessity of living more compassionately. Affirm the charter (no obligation!) then come back and read how to further spread the word by starting a discussion with your family, your neighbor … your community. Right below here I’ve included the guidelines by which we’ve started a group to discuss how-to-live-compassionately in our own community.

Start a compassion-discussion group in your neighborhood or community

These guidelines can be used to start a discussion group in your circle, your town, church/ temple/ synagogue/ tent/ living-room/ basement, organization, or within your own family. Each topic can be a focus of conversation for a group. The following is a summary of Karen Armstrong’s book, “12 Steps to a Compassionate Life.” Armstrong’s book is a more thorough explanation of the Charter for Compassion, which we’ve already discussed here on Lord Flea.

Read the synopsis of “12 Steps to a Compassionate Life” aloud, to begin a discussion.

1. Learn About Compassion –Study first how compassion is expressed in our own traditions, then explore similarities with other traditions. Understand that, Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, is the future of humanity.

2. Look at Our Own World – Begin in our own family and community to practice the Golden Rule. Daily, make sure not to do to someone what we wouldn’t want done to ourselves.

3. Begin With Self – Love your own Self first, then you can love someone else.

4. Empathy – Learn to feel empathy for our own struggles, and then we will feel it for others.

5. Mindfulness – Cultivate wholesome states of mind. Change destructive thinking and behavior patterns to positive thinking. Observe, then choose to change by using the Awareness–Acceptance–Action method.

6. Action – Build new habits of mind-body-spirit by practicing repetitively the Golden Rule.

7. How Little We Know –Seek to understand rather than be understood, letting go of certainties and judgments. Recognize the unknown and unknowable.

8. Communicate with Others –Ask questions of others; listen intently and sympathetically; allow possibilities to expand our convictions. Accept that it’s okay not to have all the answers.

9. Concern for Everybody – Let go of certainties and believe in the absolute equality of human beings, knowing we are all part of the web of life, and our creed is the Golden Rule.

10. Knowledge –Recognize the dangers of habitual thought patterns. Open to understanding others throughout the world. Study other cultures and traditions with an impartial attitude.

11. Recognition –Look at another and see that we are the same; there is no us and them. Relate our own suffering to the distress of others.

12. Love Our Enemies – Acknowledge it’s difficult to love our enemies. Transcendence occurs when we learn how. This happens by recognizing the sanctity of all life. Now we can find compassionate solutions to all global problems.

How this group can succeed

Start a discussion group based on the points above, a good way to locally take action and help our world heal. In addition, while discussing the12 Steps for Living Compassionately privately or publicly, create a safe environment for heartfelt sharing by respectfully listening when others speak. Cross-talk, whispering or joking with someone else while another is sharing, muttering or making faces, countering or commenting on another’s point-of-view do not create an atmosphere of safety so essential to the process of discussing how meaningful change occurs.

In discussion, we strive to express only our point of view and truly hear (listen) to the others who speak by turn. In countering another, too often a cordial discussion can escalate into an argument. Sharing, then, is expressing your own view, not denying anybody else’s.

To clarify group’s intention, read this after the 12 Steps

These twelve steps to a compassionate life are neither aligned with any political movement or party, religious or social affiliation, nor any outside influence other than the Charter for Compassion.

We are self-sufficient and do not accept contributions from outside sources, relying solely on our members’ support. Our purpose is to help bring about peaceful change so the world can live more compassionately.

(The above two paragraphs could be read aloud at the beginning of a compassion group discussion meeting, passing the basket if funds are needed for space or refreshments. This format is copied from the successful manner in which anonymous meetings are run. Please begin a group in your community, as we have in ours. Share with us here at Lord Flea how your group is going, its successes, its challenges. Thanks!)

Love to you all from your pal,

Lord Flea aka teZa Lord