Compassion and Bodhicitta
See Yong Chun
Can anyone help me? I'm trying to understand emptiness and impermanence, but I don't understand why compassion is something to aspire towards, when everything is impermanent...?
Viorica Doina Neacsu, Dannon Flynn and Diane Matchett like this.
Justin Chapweske It's okay if compassion comes later. I used to be in exactly your situation. In time it arose naturally.
March 8 at 12:07am · Like · 4
DeAnna Neri Read heart sutra. Sensory perceptions ( skandhas) are sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell, when one is developed in meditation,all of the sensory perceptions become empty, as mentioned in heart sutra. Sensory perceptions become space. The difference between those 2 are, (sensory perceptions)
that they are forever with us until either old age,sickness,and death.
Impermanence Is always fleeting us. Everything is always shifting, changing, evolving, or dying. Emotions are a good example that one minute were happy, the next minute sad. Emotions are impermanent. Emotions, much like passing clouds, they have no home, no root, nor sky.
March 8 at 1:06am · Like
Donald Zezulinski In my opinion: compassion is innate. It can be nurtured and be expanded. Emptiness in this regard is clearly seeing acts of compassion are not the same as compassion. Compassion is manifested in form but each moment asks for a fresh manifestation. "One size does not fit all". Hence, let go of thinking "this manifestation is solely compassion". When this is seen we begin to understand impermanence.
March 8 at 1:54am · Like · 3
John Ahn Compassion is just doing what is needed. Just acting selflessly is compassion.
March 8 at 2:19am · Edited · Like · 4
James Wandersee Justin Chapweske, seems accurate. Compassion is not a practice. It can be practiced. If I am greedy, I can still give. So, compassion is a state of being. You can act out compassion, but compassion is not the nature behind the act. Compassion arises out of nature.
Emptiness has been understood differently by different schools of thought.
Imagine looking into a seer's mirror. You can see dharma. You see the image of suffering and the image of joy. While the seers mirror is there and phenomena does appear under the surface, you are only shining witness on the surface.
You may be convinced by the image of suffering. You may also be convinced by the reflection from surface. But, your nature in not the phenomena. The seers mirror itself is phenomena.
When you see greed and givingness from the mirror, if you are looking from the perspective of the image of judgment, it is judgments nature to judge. But, when it is known that judgment is image, just like greed and givingness you will see them all as the same phenomena under the surface of the mirror. You will have compassion.
Phenomena can be measured against other phenomena. If the finite boundaries are established, phenomena can be measured yet again. If you do not have finite boundaries when phenomena is measured against phenomena, it does not actually have a value. In the scope of the infinite, any measurement is infinitely distant and close from and to all boundaries. So, you can have one length equal to two of another length. But, both have no value against the boundlessness.
Impermanence is interesting. It is also understood different ways. The images in the seers mirror change. This gives the impression of past and expectation of future. It is always the present. Permanence is incapable of change. "No thing" is a good example of permanence. The no thing or non thing, cannot change. This and that give impression. That impression can change. No thing gives the impression of no thing. It does not change.
You might have a look at Other emptiness as well.
March 8 at 2:47am · Like · 1
Marta Wrona https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=716830388339087&set=a.113949131960552.12081.106324766056322&type=1&theater
March 8 at 3:37am · Like · 5
Viorica Doina Neacsu See Yong Chun, you are saying "why compassion is something to aspire towards, when everything is impermanent...?"
Exactly because everything is impermanent. More we contemplate on impermanence faster the compassion will arise. If everything would be permanent how could be there compassion?
March 8 at 5:42am · Like · 2
Viorica Doina Neacsu Another answer to your question:
The meaning of life is happiness. Trying to fulfill our desires will be an endless and unsuccessful "road". Being in service of others (which means joining life moment by moment) brings true happiness because is the only way to be selflessness and without suffering.
March 8 at 5:54am · Edited · Like · 1
John Hooper Impermanence and emptiness do not negate cause and effect. Compassion is the way to happiness.
March 8 at 5:57am · Like · 2
Kyle Dixon From Traktung Khepa:
Bodhicitta: Love as radiance across the expanse of freedom.
When we engage the practices of Bodhicitta at its outer inner and secret levels then, quite simply, we become Love. The sun has no need of light for it is light and in the same way a person who has realized the fullness of Bodhicitta in its outer inner and secret aspects has no aching need to ‘be loved’ for they have become Love itself.
The feeling interpreted as needing to be loved is simply a misinterpretation of the ache created when we do not love. When love’s radiance is not dampened, numbed … allowed to travel across the geography of appearance by hand and eye -then body mind and heart naturally feel ‘loved’ by sky, tree, sound, touch and even others.
Cultivate love, not with contrivance but with simplicity the way you cultivate a rose or an apple tree – with uncomplicated mindfulness. If you love then your need to ‘be loved’ will naturally fall away spontaneously fulfilled by the act of life.
Mind, heart, body does not long to be loved it longs to love. And happily, while ‘being loved’ depends on the instability called ‘an other, loving depends on no other, no circumstance, nothing but the training of our own minds.
The thread that connects the extravagant wisdom and love that is Buddha Nature to this momentary occasion we call a body is Bodhicitta – that aspect of reality which is radiance. Quite simply Bodhicitta is the brightness of wisdom love manifesting in outer, inner and secret fashion. In its outer aspect it is the warm glow of compassion whose tender hearted mercies are untouched by the vagaries of events. In its inner aspect it is alive in and as body – a spiritual vibrancy, a fluid medium whose essence is pure information communicating sacredness. In its secret aspect it is the uncaused bright pervading the mysterious expanse of unutterable freedom. - t.k., recent talks
March 8 at 7:18am · Like · 4
Mardava Christian Palocz when you understand emptiness and interdependence you understand compassion.
March 8 at 8:59am · Like · 4
Mardava Christian Palocz ...or rather, you will be compassionate.
March 8 at 8:59am · Like · 3
A.c. Swartsel Wish I was skillful enough to make this simple but the best I can offer at the moment is this- Suffering arises from clinging to the notion of a individual permanent self, a self that constantly requires external sources of affirmation and reiteration. Letting go of this "selfness" is usually a slow process of practice and direct experience with observing the cause and effect relationship of limited-ego (self) and suffering. Compassion for "others" is a just one of the natural by-products of the embodied understanding of non-duality, when the concept of a separate permanent self in contrast to "the other" can be seen clearly as an illusion, all suffering becomes the same, whether its "mine", "yours" and "theirs". Letting go of the causes of suffering within us simultaneously leads to the arising of compassion for the suffering of all beings. Intentionally generating compassion for other living beings as we move towards non-self is one of a number of practices that helps fuel the journey. Non-attached compassion is a healthy manifestation of the joys of human birth and as an offering to others helps counter certain tendencies towards self-centeredness, greed, hatred and delusion that will hinder our practice. Maybe I could simply say compassion brings self and other together, eliminating duality.
March 8 at 9:06am · Like · 2
James Wandersee Corey Swartsel, that works. The more say a similar thing a different way, maybe we can be that skill required to make it simple.
March 8 at 9:19am · Like · 2
A.c. Swartsel If nothing else I hope I was clear about the difficulty I found in expressing my understanding- I think perhaps Mardava is more skillful linguistically . My early relationship to the Dharma was one where the act of explaining was explicitly frowned upon, so my skills are probably not on par with many other peoples .
March 8 at 9:20am · Like · 1
Mardava Christian Palocz I am not I was just hair splitting about non duality. I think you made a clear point.
March 8 at 9:21am · Like
James Wandersee Corey Swartsel, I might get many frowns
March 8 at 9:24am · Like
A.c. Swartsel there is a lot of skill in getting directly to the point- you mentioned interdependence in an earlier post and its a very significant concept I failed to mention in my long reply.
March 8 at 9:25am · Like
A.c. Swartsel @ James Wandersee
March 8 at 9:27am · Like
Kyle Dixon Paraphrasing Dudjom Lingpa; someone who attests that although you realize emptiness you must find compassion elsewhere, is like someone who says although you have fire you must seek heat elsewhere or although you have water you must find wetness elsewhere.
March 8 at 9:32am · Like · 5
Kyle Dixon Aspirational or relative bodhicitta compassion is generated on the path to dispel nihilism and so on, as mentioned above. Liberation is sought not for the benefit of oneself but for the benefit of all beings, which serves to open the heart. If you read Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation; loving kindness is generated to dispel attachment to samsara, and the bodhisattva ideal is generated in order to dispel attachment to liberation. All Mahayana paths, including Vajrayana, Mahamudra and Dzogchen are all based on bodhisattva conduct, and it is said liberation is impossible without that ideal.
March 8 at 9:46am · Like · 3
See Yong Chun Thanks everyone for your extremely hepful replies! I think I can see much clearer now!
Turns out compassion is a natural product of selflessness! How did I not get that?
March 8 at 10:17am · Like
Albert Hong Compassion arises when we can see people unmediated by concepts.
We literally feel and see their suffering and that creates a response both internally as warmth/tenderness and then we respond accordingly to the situation and capacity we embody.
Our capacity to open out to people and really see them pretty much is impossible unless we actualize the selflessness of ourselves and phenomena.
But to see others in such full way and at times its not suffering but joy, beauty and goodness also reflects our capacity to actualize emptiness as well.
And this as a path and goal is the sweetness of dharma practice.
March 8 at 10:31am · Like · 2
John Hooper There is absolutely no self and no other beings. Compassion arises as naturally as soothing a burn on your own finger.
March 8 at 11:25am · Like · 1
Kyle Dixon See Yong, The expression of compassion and so on has flowered slowly for me, it comes with time on the path. I remember not even two years ago sitting with my mentor at dinner and listening to him speak of the suffering of beings as tears ran down his face. I recall asking him why I don't exhibit that same level of empathy, his was so strong that it actually make me choke up to see him so emotional, but at that time nothing like that would conjure up such a passionate response in myself.
Not until recently has that started to occur for me, any time I see a teacher speaking and addressing the suffering of beings I do now choke up and feel that resonant compassion for them. I'm not a very emotional person, but I have noticed this sweet response that arises in me nowadays.
I have heard that the opening of the heart is a sign that the teachings are going in the right direction, and that if one is not seeing this growth of compassion after some time practicing the buddhadharma then one should reevaluate their practice.
So it is a natural progression that comes in time, nothing that can be forced, the flowering will occur naturally just like the sprouting of a seed does in the right environment.
March 8 at 12:48pm · Like · 6
Empty Form Philosophical Musing :
If 'Absolute Reality' is presumably Non-Dual and even Impersonal, why favours love over evil, compassion over non-compassion, Gandhi over Hitler?
Why do some seems to suggest that Love and Compassion to be our 'essence' as we deepen our practice? Are we talking in absolute or relative terms here?
March 8 at 2:05pm · Edited · Like
Kyle Dixon In Dzogchen for example, it is said that our nature is comprised of three wisdoms; (i) essence ngo bo, (ii) nature rang bzhin, and (iii) compassion thugs rje.
Therefore compassion is an innate aspect of our nature which manifests spontaneously for the benefit of beings, and so thugs rje is actually directly related what we define as conventional compassion. Thugs rje appears outwardly in the form of a constant emanation of altruistic 'deeds' which function through the natural discernment of vidya in order to liberate beings from samsara. These deeds are empty expressions of compassion (meaning; they lack inherent existence) and thugs rje represents an infinite potentiality for their expression. As an attribute (wisdom) of our nature, thugs rje is the unceasing responsiveness of primordial wisdom which corresponds to the nirmanakaya i.e. form body (body meaning; dimension, realm etc.). So thugs rje (via it's energetic display and compassionate resonance i.e. rtsal), is the capacity of the natural state which 'appears' and is directly experienced by beings, manifesting as both pure and impure phenomena.
Thugs rje is unlimited and boundless in it's functionality, so it isn't confined solely to the scope of vidya and can also embrace all beings manifesting as our own innate compassion and empathy we feel towards others. For this reason, it is said that compassion is an innate quality to all beings and through recognizing and integrating with our nature, that compassion is able to express itself unceasingly and naturally (without contrivance) for the benefit of all beings. Thugs rje translates to Lord (rje) of the Heart (thugs).
March 8 at 2:56pm · Like · 1
Kyle Dixon For instance, in the video below Gregg Braden tells a story about an interaction he had with a Tibetan monk, and the answer he gets to his question "what is the force that connects the universe" coincides with this topic perfectly:
The following video should start at 20:10 where he begins talking about Tibet. If not, please fast-forward to 20:10.
The part I'm referencing specifically begins at 21:50
March 8 at 3:14pm · Edited · Like · 2
Viorica Doina Neacsu Wise explanation....
March 8 at 5:02pm · Edited · Like · 1
Mardava Christian Palocz Empty Form, to deny one part over another is just relative.
March 8 at 7:36pm · Edited · Like
Robert Healion "You may have understood emptiness, but it turns into nihilism unless you can be compassionate, so equalize compassion and emptiness!"
taken form a posting by Wha Tsin Aname
March 8 at 7:39pm · Unlike · 3
Viorica Doina Neacsu ^^^ Exactly the same comment Marta did in this thread, look above!
March 8 at 8:04pm · Like
Viorica Doina Neacsu Christian, where is your comment? hehehehe! I wanted to click "like" and i found just the first sentence of your comment received via email! hahahahaha!
March 8 at 8:05pm · Like · 1
Mardava Christian Palocz Love,
I am one with all things- in beauty, in ugliness, for whatsoever is- there I am. Not only in virtue but in sin too I am a partner, and not only in heaven but hell too is mine. Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu- it is easy to be their heir, but Genghis, Taimur and Hitler ? They are also within me ! No not half-I am the whole of mankind ! Whatsoever is man's is mine- flowers and thorns, darkness and light, and if nectar is mine, whose is poison ? Nectar and poison- both are mine. Whoever experiences this I call religious, for only the anguish of such an experience can revolutionize life on earth. "
Osho, A cup of Tea #54
March 8 at 8:14pm · Like · 3
Viorica Doina Neacsu ^^^ Yes!
March 8 at 8:17pm · Like
Viorica Doina Neacsu Well, i love and i am so grateful to Osho for his teachings!