Since when compassion has name and form?
Since Mahayana Buddhism places firm emphasis on compassion, why don't we see monks and mahayana buddhists rush to disaster sites, doing voluntary work to help others?
Since you're just in the next country where I live, have you heard of Tzu Chi? Fo Guang Shan? Bright Hill Pu Jue Ch'an Monastery (Kong Meng San)?
And to add to that, just across the Causeway, the first 2 societies mentioned just now plus Ti Ratana Welfare Society, Sau Seng Lam, Than Siang, Cempaka Buddhist Lodge, Kechara Soup Kitchen, Kechara Animal Sanctuary... Should I go on...?
Why only meditation and cultivation to create this mind only "Bodhicitta"? Is this true compassion?
You wanna know why? Here's why...
Firstly, a teaching from the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche...
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"Until you are ready to give your life and body for the sake of others in reality, which is not the case at present, you can at least do it mentally.
As your mind grows used to altruistic love and compassion, your words and actions will naturally reflect that attitude."
Not every the body can handle the face of suffering when they see/experience it first hand, especially when volunteers go out to serve in the various misions for the sick, poor, suffering and afflicted, be they humans or animals, and some become down to the point of depression, culture shock, break down and want to retreat because they were not prepared to see the real world with its grotesque and stark samsaric manifestations of grinding conditions of poverty, sickness, aging and even death and thought that charitable work all about smiling in front of cameras and holding a fat cheque or that it's only about patting a cat on the head, because some live 'protected' lives.
So, the formal meditation and cultivation of a mind abiding and grounded in Bodhicitta aids one in seeing this suffering world of the aggregates in its proper perspective for what it is and gives one the inner strength and courage to go out there and bath the abandoned aged folks, help people rebuild their lives after a national disaster, distribute food packets and talk to/assist the homeless, pick up/rescue a mangy/lost animals for rehabilitation/adoption, sweep and clean homes/centres for the mentally and physically challenged...
I have read on how the late Mother Teresa has a routine for herself and the staff to attend Mass in the morning and evening which has recollection and reflections done daily before and after their charitable work...remember how she sent back people who think that it will all be a breeze?
Do you think it's easy to hold the hand of the homeless/downtrodden, look into their eyes and whilst giving that packet of food or drink, offer comfort and assistance?
Do you think it's easy to hold those born with physical/mental challenges and the abandoned orphans/aged folks in one's arms and hug them, feed, bath and to assure them that they are loved and needed?
Do you think it's easy to be patient and counsel those suicidal, bereaved and abused?
Do you think it's easy to help convince an abused/injured/abandoned animal that it's alright, the situation has changed, that they are loved, needs are met and will not be hurt again?
When we compare this to Christians who go all out to help disaster victims, 3rd world countries?
Comparison is only relevant when one is still sitting at home and fiddling fingers whilst thinking that it's not their job, someone else will do it...not for those who are already off their couches and making a change in the world, first in their own home, then their neighbourhood, then their Community and the wider world out there...
Is there any difference in comparing a Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Jain, Hindu, Wiccan, freethinker, not-so-free-to-think when a cup of water is given with both hands with attention to a needy person/animal with the purpose of benefiting?
I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.
The late Ven Master Hsuan Hua once remarked: