I remember being a young child just after I was walking about and my mother teaching me a lesson about the stove being "hot".
We had an old-fashioned iron wood burning stove in the kitchen. Mom used to keep things like doughnuts and sweetrolls in and on it to keep them warm.
At that age I could just barely reach to the top of that stove to get at any doughnuts or sweetrolls kept there, but i tried.
Mom would yell at me, "NO!...it's hot".....but I never listened. Often I burned my hand on that hot stove reaching for something I couldn't see very well.
Then one day, after I burned my hand again, my mom taught me a lesson.
Taking my hand firmly she said, "NO!...stove is HOT", and touced my hand briefly on the top of the hot stove, then pulled it back.
It was very painful....but while I still was reacting to the pain my mom grabbed by head and looking into my eyes said clearly, "SEE stove is HOT!".
Now that lesson, which I can still remember over 60 years later, was mom's use of "ireful compassion".
Ireful because it used a form of "anger" (for want of a better term)....and compasionate because it used the minimum amount of pain required to teach the neccesary point.
THat's what "ireful compassion" is I think.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach