The Thursday morning Young Urban Zen study group that I am attending has decided to look at the six paramitas, and yesterday we were reading from Meditation in Action by Chogyam Trungpa. We had one less copy of the book than there were people in the room, so I was mostly just listening as we read aloud, and I had a strong physical reaction to this paragraph:
"Out of his simplicity and awareness the bodhisattva develops selfless warmth. He doesn't even think in terms of his own psychological benefit; he doesn't think, 'I would like to see him not suffering'.'I' does not come into it at all. He speaks and thinks and acts spontanteously, not thinking even in terms of helping, or fulfilling any particular purpose. He does not act on 'religious' or 'charitable' grounds at all. He just acts according to the true, present moment, through which he develops a kind of warmth. And there is a great warmth in this awareness and also great creativity. His actions are not limited by anything, and all sorts of creative impulses just arise in him and are somehow exactly right for that particular moment. Things just happen and he simply sails through them, so there is a continual, tremendous creativity in him. This is the real act of karuna - a Sanskrit word which means 'noble heart' or 'compassionate heart'. So in this case compassion does not refer to kindness alone, but to fundamental compassion, selfless compassion. He is not really aware of himself, so compassion has greater scope to expand and develop, because here there is no radiator but only radiation. And when only this radiation exists, without a radiator, it could go on and on and on, and the energy would never be used up. It is always transormed and as it expands further and further it changes always into something else, into a new creative activity, so it goes continuously on and on. This creative transformation is not merely a theoretical or philosophical concept, but actually takes place in a practical sense, sometimes in a very simple way".
We noted, as we discussed it, the caveat that Trungpa's life offers some examples of this that we might not choose to follow ourselves, and that creativity is not the same as complete license.