We begin this week and month contemplating qualities intrinsic to being human. Each of them gives rise to or birth myriad other qualities. Before naming the four qualities highlighted for personal contemplation and then meditation, let’s explore the premise of what gives rise to what; what births what.
The processes of awakening are universally simple: become aware of that which one was unaware of previously. More than a year ago, we paused on the five common senses so as to recognize how much more there is to the experiences of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. Our visitation with our own senses revealed that sight includes one’s views such as biases, sense of beauty or ugly, and what one might be blind to or see clearly within others but not within one’s self. The sense of taste expanded beyond that which passed over the taste buds to values, tastes in politics, clothing, friends, books, and such. Hearing revealed that, quite often, we hear what we want to and don’t hear what we don’t want to; that hearing something does not mean it will be listened to or understood or that we are ready to. Also, hearing provoked the inquiry of do we listen to ourselves, in all manner of that reflective process, including intuition.
I hearken back to the senses because they are an example of how such and such is born of something else. Taste in clothes or conversation has nothing to do with taste buds in the mouth. Nonetheless, human preferences originate in the processes of pleasant and unpleasant, just as a recipe does.
The four qualities offered for contemplation and meditation are: Presence, compassion, wisdom, and patience/forbearance. So many other qualities, skills, attributes, and abilities stream from and arise from these foundational qualities of being a human being.