Two levels of compassion: is it possible?

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Re: Two levels of compassion: is it possible?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:22 am

greentara wrote:Monktastic, "know it's probably not meant to be Buddhist, but my interpretation is that this man is a Bodhisattva. No fuss, just going about his day quietly helping people whether they realize it or appreciate it at the time"
I believe I have met a bodhisattva. He was not tall and cool like the guy in the film; instead he was middle aged, grizzled and used a rope for a belt to keep his shorts up and walked around in unlaced boots. He was from an upper middle class background but no one would have guessed it. He owned substantial stocks and shares with a well known consortium and when they had the annual general meeting my friend showed up. Well they wouldn't let him in, they thought he was 'homeless' until the misunderstanding was all ironed out and he was allowed to stay, very uncomfortable for those foolish people in charge. He had a broad knowledge of antiquarian books, and antiques in general. He taught himself Chinese and was a genuine scholar. He would sometimes buy a rare item from me but whatever I charged him he always wanted to pay more 'so I wouldn't shortchange myself'.
I knew him for many years before he could talk to me with ease, he was very shy, unassuming and humble and always spoke to everyone in the most respectful manner. If anyone was in trouble or needed help he would make huge efforts to be of assistance. He certainly helped me many times, if I had an obscure, knotty problem he would disappear to the library for days and come back with the correct answer or solution, he wouldn't charge for his valuable time, he was amazing.
He was quite taken with the books of Jiddhu Krishnamurti but admitted to me over coffee and sandwichs that Jiddhu's teachings were too hard for him to put into practice. I disagree, I felt he was a walking, talking proof of the teaching. Whilst Krishnamurti was quite elitist my friend was anything but that.
When I heard his sister had passed away I went to visit him in his small, modest shop, he was sitting on a low stool. I said how sorry I was and bent down to give him a kiss on the cheek. The look of childlike wonder on the mans face....I suddenly realized he had probably not been touched by anyone for many years.
After he passed away so many people came out of the woodwork, telling stories of the help he had given so many.
If I now go into the city where he ran his business . Everywhere there are slick people in suits and the hustle of big city living but I always pause at a particular place and and feel so honoured that He was my friend. Anything I can say about him does not do him justice as he was such a giving person, quite ungreedy, a diamond in the rough.


Great story, made me tear up a bit, and reminded me to be thankful an inspired by the people I know fitting this description:)
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Two levels of compassion: is it possible?

Postby muni » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:34 am

Jainarayan wrote:Is it possible to exhibit extreme compassion for one particular group of sentient beings in this world to help them in their worldly suffering, at the risk of overall bodhicitta (if I use the word correctly)? Can one perform work as a nurse, child or homeless welfare worker, animal rescuer, out of extreme compassion for them, and yet maintain the bodhisattva vow out of compassion for all sentient beings? That is, is it wrong to "specialize" in this world, and feel their pain and want to help? Or is this a totally stupid question?


Hi Jainarayan,

I heard that whatever we do in daily life (even we cannot feed all sentient beings), when benefitting others is without the limitations of self interess, this will eliminate experienced suffering.
In that way the more action, speech mind for the welfare of others, joy, love and compassion can blossom in equanimity.

Then when all our selfconcern, self reputation are exhausted, compassion is fully and so unhindered, since there is no clinging, there is no bias.

ps: This should be like being in love with all and everyone. Maha Valentine! :tongue:

Rejoice. :namaste:
We have to go beyond theories no matter how sacred they might seem.
Theories can create an illusory distance between us and enlightenment.
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