The role of compassion

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Jesse
Posts: 1764
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Virginia, USA

The role of compassion

Post by Jesse »

What is the role of compassion in spirituality? Is it simply a by-product? Is it the main purpose? Can we even experience spiritual growth without compassion?

In Buddhism the main 'goal', or whatever you want to call it, is realizing Sunyata.. I am curious how the realization of Sunyata results in great compassion?

One thing I have found out the hard way is, without compassion in your heart you can't even begin to see reality for what it is. Why is this?

Just thinking', anyone's input is welcome. :namaste:
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Jesse wrote:What is the role of compassion in spirituality? Is it simply a by-product? Is it the main purpose? Can we even experience spiritual growth without compassion?

In Buddhism the main 'goal', or whatever you want to call it, is realizing Sunyata.. I am curious how the realization of Sunyata results in great compassion?

One thing I have found out the hard way is, without compassion in your heart you can't even begin to see reality for what it is. Why is this?

Just thinking', anyone's input is welcome. :namaste:
When we truly are a Buddha or Bodhisattva, there will be compassion+ wisdom. But for the time being, compassion is clouded by thought or obsession of self.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
Jesse
Posts: 1764
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Jesse »

LastLegend wrote:
Jesse wrote:What is the role of compassion in spirituality? Is it simply a by-product? Is it the main purpose? Can we even experience spiritual growth without compassion?

In Buddhism the main 'goal', or whatever you want to call it, is realizing Sunyata.. I am curious how the realization of Sunyata results in great compassion?

One thing I have found out the hard way is, without compassion in your heart you can't even begin to see reality for what it is. Why is this?

Just thinking', anyone's input is welcome. :namaste:
When we truly are a Buddha or Bodhisattva, there will be compassion+ wisdom. But for the time being, compassion is clouded by thought or obsession of self.
So you think compassion is part of our nature? I agree that the obsession with self certainly limits our compassion. So is compassion part of our nature, or does compassion result from wisdom?
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

Jesse wrote:What is the role of compassion in spirituality? Is it simply a by-product? Is it the main purpose? Can we even experience spiritual growth without compassion?
Compassion is just natural, if you don't have it now you will later once you will feel better.
Jesse wrote: In Buddhism the main 'goal', or whatever you want to call it, is realizing Sunyata.. I am curious how the realization of Sunyata results in great compassion?

One thing I have found out the hard way is, without compassion in your heart you can't even begin to see reality for what it is. Why is this?

Just thinking', anyone's input is welcome. :namaste:
The way I understand Sunyata is just realizing that you won't find a self or a sense of permanence in whatever you are in contact with. So the aim is to find your own voice growing in joy through everything you do. Your mind has to find its own permanent satisfaction.
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

I prefer to not use Sunyata because it gives me an imagination of "nothing," although I understand that's not what it is. Wrestling with Sunyata too much can become a form of sickness.

I think compassion is the result of wisdom. We cannot have true compassion because we are limited by self. Bodhisattva and Buddha is the embodiment of compassion, an essential teaching of Mahayana. Followers of Svaraka (spll?) seem to follow a different teaching. We can say that the teaching of compassion itself is a teaching of wisdom. Wisdom/teaching of non-self; for others.

There are times when we feel compassion, but this is different from actually doing the act of compassion such as keeping first precept, releasing captured wild animals are to be eaten, helping the poor, giving Dharma, donate a few dollars to charity, etc.
Last edited by LastLegend on Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:I prefer to not use Sunyata because it gives me an imagination of "nothing," although I understand that's not what it is.

I think compassion is the result of wisdom. We cannot have true compassion because we are limited by self. Bodhisattva and Buddha is the embodiment of compassion, an essential teaching of Mahayana. Followers of Svaraka (spll?) seem to follow a different teaching. We can say that the teaching of compassion itself is a teaching of wisdom. Wisdom/teaching of non-self; for others.

There are times when we feel compassion, but this is different from actually doing the act of compassion such as keeping first precept, releasing captured wild animals are to be eaten, helping the poor, giving Dharma, donate a few dollars to charity, etc.
Difficult to know what wisdom is, it seems key in your understanding, do you know what wisdom is? can you explain
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote:
Difficult to know what wisdom is, it seems key in your understanding, do you know what wisdom is? can you explain
I do. Dharma is teaching of wisdom.

What about you?
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:I do. Dharma is teaching of wisdom.

What about you?
For me not having wisdom is like you are sitting in a chair but you don't know that's a gold chair.
And wisdom is like you are sitting in a chair but you do know that's gold.
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote:
LastLegend wrote:I do. Dharma is teaching of wisdom.

What about you?
For me not having wisdom is like you are sitting in a chair but you don't know that's a gold chair.
And wisdom is like you are sitting in a chair but you do know that's gold.
It's not an external object, I can agree with that.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:It's not an external object, I can agree with that.
what I meant is not that wisdom is the gold chair but the fact of knowing that is a gold chair, that's being wise and possessing wisdom.
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote:
LastLegend wrote:It's not an external object, I can agree with that.
what I meant is not that wisdom is the gold chair but the fact of knowing that is a gold chair, that's being wise and possessing wisdom.
You mean knowing that your mind is the source of wisdom is possessing wisdom?
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:You mean knowing that your mind is the source of wisdom is possessing wisdom?
well done, that's what I wanted to convey. The mind is the gold chair, you are the mind and you are knowing that the mind is the gold chair, you possess wisdom, this is my experience of wisdom and compassion.
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote: The way I understand Sunyata is just realizing that you won't find a self or a sense of permanence in whatever you are in contact with. So the aim is to find your own voice growing in joy through everything you do. Your mind has to find its own permanent satisfaction.
How much time do you need to find your own permanent satisfaction?
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:How much time do you need to find your own permanent satisfaction?
Not really about time but more about your capacity to do the good effort, the good way of focusing your energy (concentration), your ability to understand quickly and without being disturbed while you are trying to understand something. You don't need much time but a great deal of perseverance and help too if you desire.
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote:
LastLegend wrote:How much time do you need to find your own permanent satisfaction?
Not really about time but more about your capacity to do the good effort, the good way of focusing your energy (concentration), your ability to understand quickly and without being disturbed while you are trying to understand something. You don't need much time but a great deal of perseverance and help too if you desire.
If you can do that all by yourself without fooling yourself, then more power to you. Otherwise, good luck with that.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:If you can do that all by yourself without fooling yourself, then more power to you. Otherwise, good luck with that.
it's easy because we have the same computer potential which is the mind and you are it using it so you can trust yourself and give it a go :heart:
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote:
LastLegend wrote:If you can do that all by yourself without fooling yourself, then more power to you. Otherwise, good luck with that.
it's easy because we have the same computer potential which is the mind and you are it using it so you can trust yourself and give it a go :heart:
I don't think so. Prove me wrong at the end of your life time.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:
Kaore wrote:
LastLegend wrote:If you can do that all by yourself without fooling yourself, then more power to you. Otherwise, good luck with that.
it's easy because we have the same computer potential which is the mind and you are it using it so you can trust yourself and give it a go :heart:
I don't think so. Prove me wrong at the end of your life time.
Why to wait for so long :D you can be sure by your own experience, that's your choice to wait or not.
User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 4377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: The role of compassion

Post by LastLegend »

Kaore wrote:
Why to wait for so long :D you can be sure by your own experience, that's your choice to wait or not.
Are you certain of your own experience?
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
User avatar
Kaore
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: The role of compassion

Post by Kaore »

LastLegend wrote:Are you certain of your own experience?
yes, doubt is terrible, I know what it is.
Post Reply

Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”