. . . when you yourselves know: ‘These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,’ enter on and abide in them.Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry (translated by Soma Thera)
While there now exists an entirely new (spiritual) paradigm for empaths, or energetically sensitive beings, (some of which my version of is included herewithin,) can anything be drawn from the Early Buddhist Texts as strategies for those where the characteristic of anukampa, or empathy, significantly impacts their day to day experience?
Empathy in the context of this article means deeply feeling what another is feeling. Experiencing what another is experiencing — at the least, experiencing the most predominate experience(s) of another — to the point where, temporarily, very little difference seemingly exists between the one empathing and what, or who is being empathed. The caveat being there is really no way to know exactly the entirety of another’s experience. Additionally, there often seems to be very little choice involved whether or not to empath.
This is all lovely and wonderful if only the positive and pleasant was all that was being empathed. So naturally, this article mostly addresses what’s being empathed and perceived as negative, unhelpful, unskillful, unwise and unwholesome without intending to attract more nor push it away.
Perhaps a (still somewhat broad) guiding question to further narrow this enquiry: How can we aim towards the highest, fullest, most total, and most complete currently accessible versions of the wisest, most wholesome, skillful, ideal and optimal perceptions, views and responses for empathic experiences and phenomena? (And perhaps eventually going and incorporating beyond even this?)
And without paving another way to be down on ourselves for falling short of what’s mentioned, all this also intends to provide options to cultivate and develop greater balanced empathy while ending (programmed) victim/victimizer mentality.
But first some background and context questions.Continue reading “Dharmic Strategies For Empaths”