Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
First I have to apologize for being this late with publishing. I hadn't enough spare time to write this 5th Theme Week episode. I was busy with work and family.
Today we are looking at the 4th Insight the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying reveals to us. This episode is about 'compassion'. I remember that w have had 'compassion' earlier here at CDHK as a prompt and it was in several other episodes a source for inspiration. Today however 'compassion' we will explore as part of living and dying.
full of compassion
Tara inspires her worldly followers -
lotus reaches for the sun
finally enlightenment is near
Om Mane Padme Hum
Let me first look at the meaning of compassion and than I will bring t into the theme. What is compassion?
Rinpoche says the following about compassion in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:
[...] "It is not simply a sense of sympathy or caring for the person suffering, not simply a warmth of heart toward the person before you, or a sharp clarity of recognition of their needs and pain, it is also a sustained and practical determination to do whatever is possible and necessary to help alleviate their suffering. Compassion is not true compassion unless it is active. Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, is often represented in Tibetan iconography as having a thousand eyes that see the pain in all corners of the universe, and a thousand arms to reach out to all corners of the universe to extend his help."[...] (Source: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - Sogyal Rinpoche)
The power of compassion is limitless
The strength of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is that it gives you a kind of manual to handle living and dying in your surroundings especially when you are facing death or are confronted with dying and dead. Most often we don't know what to do or say. Is it possible to help someone who faces dead?
Rinpoche says: "only love and compassion" can be of help in such a situation. Compassion, as you could have read above, is something different than remorse. In compassion there is respect. It sounds easy, but compassion is not only affection and warmth, it is also an everlasting and practical steadfastness to do everything possible to make suffering more easy.
The Buddah of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, is often depicted as having thousand eyes and arms and gives an idea what compassion really means. The Buddha of Compassion sees all the pain in the Universe and with his 1000 arms he offers help throughout the Universe.
How to be compassionate? You can gain that through loving kindness. Look at the other as you would look at yourself. We are all the same notwithstanding spiritual or religious differences. We have all the same feelings and desires. If you were in the position of facing death, what would you like to do, what would you want that others would do for you?
Compassion is only compassion, real compassion, if you do something. Just be there, be present ... can be enough.
|Credits: Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara
Today we looked at Insight 4, Compassion. As I think about compassion the first thing which comes in mind is Buddha. I see his eyes in front of me and I feel how his compassionate eyes are touching me deep. Compassion ... a wonderful emotion, which we see to less in the world of today. Maybe ... maybe there will be a time, far in the future, that every living thing on Earth will be compassionate. I hope ... this will become true.
the Buddha looks into the world
with sad eyes
I look around in my world
dreaming of better times