Tonight the clarity and determination to succeed that came with the Bodhisattva intention was refreshed for me in class when ethics in medical research was introduced and covered briefly. I have to remember that the hell realms are where we need to be to cultivate this intention, and so that is where I am, blessed though I am, I am aware of the suffering around me.
I am here to not contribute to the harm, to alleviate suffering directly and to bring about the enlightenment of all beings. The cessation of suffering - the end of the hell realms...I do believe it is happening but of course everything changes with that change and there is still so much that is amazing and wonderful here, especially with the contrasting extremes.
The point is that when pain occurs, in order to stop suffering from it and to not cause further suffering and to not spread that suffering to others, I must find a way to become compassion. I believe Venerable's book the Missing Peace does the best job of any teaching available today of delivering the tools to make that possible.
Compassion meditation is the most effective and profoundly transformative of all forms of meditation. It is embodied by the first Jhanna, one pointedness has to be solid before it is readily available, and it has to be maintained, returned to, just like a friendship - regular contact is essential to its health.