Compassion and Enlightened Leadership

~Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Warmth in Action

Both enlightened leadership and serving others have so much to do with wisdom and compassion. For anyone who is on the spiritual path, particularly those of us on the Bon and Buddhist paths, wisdom and compassion are the true core aspects of our spiritual practice. To achieve liberation – final liberation, absolute liberation – compassion and wisdom are the two most important means. For all of us, one way or another, the purpose of our life is service to help others, and many times we do that from some position of leadership. To be a good leader and lead a good life with family, groups, even with your country, you need to have these core qualities of wisdom and compassion.

We do formal practices in our life, but if the informal practices that we do every day in our work and activities have these two elements of compassion and wisdom, then whatever we are doing becomes our spiritual practice. So having more compassion toward your children, your husband, partner, wife, family, relatives, colleagues, employees, boss, strangers – anytime when we encounter them in our everyday life – your regular life becomes your compassion practice.

Whenever challenging situations affect you, your identity, your ego, your pain-body, and you are able to be conscious of that, address that, and are able to let it be and let it go in that sacred space, then that is a wisdom. That means that the challenging situation is not just affecting you; rather, you are actually applying a great meditation of wisdom. So your life becomes a practice. I really want to emphasize that and want everyone to remember that.

In the last webcast, we spoke of wisdom. Briefly, wisdom is the experience of selflessness, the experience of oneself beyond the ego, beyond the pain-body. It is the experience of oneself totally and completely being open and resting in the nature of mind in that sacred space. That is what wisdom means. So basically, in every situation, in the moment when something in life affects you, if you are able to be conscious and host that and dissolve that in the sacred space and find a new direction, a new way of being – that is a wisdom.

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