suffering is compassion

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I saw the first of two talks with Mingyur Rinpoche this morning.

I’ll wait until hearing the next one before I write a full post, but there was one interesting thing he said that related to the theme of compassion.

He asked us to consider why we suffer. He then suggested that we suffer because we want to be happy. Every moment we are looking for happiness, we even blink our eyes and breath looking for happiness (stop either one for one minute and you will see!). So, in wanting happiness, this suffering is compassion.

4 responses »

  1. ohohoh… I tend to shy away from using tricky word connections. Who knows, really, why we suffer. However, if we notice that we suffer (really notice – not the “Oh this sucks!” kind of noticing), then we can cultivate an openness to what is arising – in ourselves and others. That willingness to be open is compassion. After that… who knows… 🙂

    • I suppose I removed this a bit out of the context that he presented it in. The talk was centered around the prayer of Loving Kindness. I took it as the desire for my own happiness can be the seed for my desire for your happiness, in which case, my suffering is compassion.

      You do make a valid point though!
      thank you~

  2. Here is a denotative definition of the word “compassion”, copied and pasted from dictionary.com:

    a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

    A Bodhisattva is, ostensibly, an enlightened being who deliberately forestalls final liberation for the sake of the liberation of all sentient beings. That does not fit the dictionary definition of compassion.

    When Gautama was dying, he instructed the monks to work out their salvation with diligence. They would have his teachings and each other, but he had to go bye-bye.

    So you nailed it, joseph – perhaps inadvertently. Compassion is suffering. Liberation is complete indifference to suffering. When there is no desire, then what is – is simply what is. Whatever it is.

    May all beings attain liberation.

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