My religion is kindness.
Dalai Lama

Get two glasses of water and an erasable marker.  Label one glass “I” and the other glass “You.”  Pour a couple of spoonfuls of sugar into the “I” glass and a couple of spoonfuls of salt into the “You” glass.  Shake both glasses.  Put them down.  Watch sugar and salt swirl.  Notice the differences between the two glasses.  Wait till sugar and salt dissolve.

While sugar water looks more transparent than salt water,  recognize that the water hasn’t changed.  Water is water. You can distill it back just like it was from either of the two solutions.  Consider sugar and salt here as symbols of information. 

You are full of “this” and I am full of “that.”  The difference between you and I is “this” or “that.”  But if we dissolve our minds down to their essence, to their base, what remains is the same, the pure water of awareness.   What you are in between your thoughts and what I am in between my thoughts is indistinguishable.

Without any information to distinguish one mind from another, all consciousness is the same.  Space is space whatever you clutter it with.  When struggling to forgive, we try to put ourselves into somebody else’s mind.  But the other’s experience just doesn’t taste quite right: we feel that under the same circumstances we’d be different.

The salt of forgiveness is to understand that if you and I were informationally the same, there’d be no difference in the taste, and we would do the same thing.

To forgive, you have to understand that.  Have a taste.  Spend enough time in the other’s perspective to see past the informational differences, to clearly see the sameness of intentions (pursuit of wellbeing) and the person-specific perfection of the attempts.

We are all – in essence – of one and the same transparent kind.  So, kind-ness makes sense.

360 of Compassion



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    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2010). Water of Compassion. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 28, 2015, from


Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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