Well, What does meditating on emptiness really mean? Emptiness means all phenomena are empty of an intrinsic self.
This means that ultimately there is no me and ultimately there are no others. This is mentioned in the Diamond Sutra. So, what does compassion mean?
If we are talking about compassion as a subject and object interaction, “I am me and sentient beings are others and I am generating compassion toward others” then of course this cannot arise from an understanding of emptiness. It contradicts the very premise of emptiness, because in emptiness, ultimately nothing arises that can be identified as a self, and nothing arises which can be identified ultimately as others.
So, a different meaning of “compassion” has to be established in this context. It has to reflect a kind of wish for the benefitting of others but in a way that does not involve engaging in duality.
I think that the way this is accomplished is in realization that our perceptions are essentially a dream like experience and so we are playing characters in a sense, and within the context we see that the role of compassion has a function and that it also can emerge as an expression of no self.
In this way, generating compassion becomes a means from waking up from this dream like state. When we meditate on emptiness, one realizes the inseparability of oneself and all other beings. This cuts through the duality of self and other, and this results in a state of selfless compassion. Selfless compassion means there is no “me” being compassionate to “you”. There is simply the arising non-duality.
It actually might be easier to understand if approached through the subtractive way of looking at it:
in other words, everything which is not compassion is removed through the practice of meditation on emptiness, and the only thing which remains is compassion, and it too is non-dual.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba
on Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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