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 Post subject: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Something I've wondered about,

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? Why only meditation and cultivation to create this mind only "Bodhicitta"? Is this true compassion? When we compare this to Christians who go all out to help disaster victims, 3rd world countries?

I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.

Namo Amituofo! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:56 pm 
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alasdairyee wrote:
Something I've wondered about,

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? Why only meditation and cultivation to create this mind only "Bodhicitta"? Is this true compassion? When we compare this to Christians who go all out to help disaster victims, 3rd world countries?

I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.

Namo Amituofo! :D


Why single out the Mahayana - don't all Buddhists seek to practice compassion and place 'firm emphasis' on it?

Why asssume there is only meditation and nothing you describe as 'compassion' in helping others?

Why assume Mahayana practitioners don't practice Compassion through aiding others just because you haven't seen them?

Why assume Christians are there out of Compassion and why single them out as a comparator?

Why exclude yourself from this assertion?

Why assume a thread topic which started with so many assumptions, mostly negative remarks about the Mahayana, is worth discussing? ;)

Just an assumption of mine - that the many Mahayana practitioners who are active in helping within their own and other communities may find your starting point incorrect and the rest thus baseless.

http://www.danwei.org/disaster_relief/h ... ushu_e.php

''The monks of Gyegu, after miraculously surviving the collapse of their own temple, rushed towards the rubble in the valleys below the temple, and dug out survivors with their own bare hands. Although they have in the past two days rescued over one hundred people buried in the ruins, this still lags far behind the speed with which the natural disaster took away human lives. The exhausted lamas shrug off their own feeling of weakness by ceaselessly intoning sutras to extend the boundaries of their physical strength. Both before and after the commencement of the government's large-scale rescue effort, Tempa Rinpoche and his disciples were viewed by the devout Buddhist laity of this ancient town as one of their sources of hope. As a result of distinct ethnic and religious traditions, it is already as though Gyegu Temple were a center for organizing the rescue effort in disaster stricken Yushu. ''

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Namo Amituofo!

Sorry didn't mean to single out, nor to slam mahayana. Just a thoughtless question that shot from my mind. Your questions have prompted me the answer to my own question. Thank You.

Namo Amituofo!


Last edited by alasdairyee on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:42 pm 
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alasdairyee wrote:
Something I've wondered about,

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? Why only meditation and cultivation to create this mind only "Bodhicitta"? Is this true compassion? When we compare this to Christians who go all out to help disaster victims, 3rd world countries?

I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.

Namo Amituofo! :D


Hi Alasdairvee,

If you're interested in finding Buddhists who do all the things you describe, you may want to look into the Tzu Chi foundation and more generally "engaged Buddhism" or "humanistic Buddhism" -- which emerged partly in response to the kinds of questions you're asking.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:50 pm 
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haha yes thank you. I've heard of them already.


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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Well honestly I think that the compassionate is the one who is harvesting most of the benefit of his own compassion. At least until he has eliminated all afflictive obscurations. But there is nothing wrong about this.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:57 pm 
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To be compassionate is to desire enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, dedicate the merits of all practices, then put into action those practices.


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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
... then put into action those practices.


Which are the paramitas. This first is giving all possessions away.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:15 pm 
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alasdairyee wrote:
Namo Amituofo!

Sorry didn't mean to single out, nor to slam mahayana. Just a thoughtless question that shot from my mind. Your questions have prompted me the answer to my own question. Thank You.

Namo Amituofo!


My respects and apologies for an unnecessarily heavy response, especially on the topic of Compassion. :anjali:

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Namo Amituofo!

Nahh, I thought they were quite thought-invoking actually.

Anyway, I kind of found the answer. It's like us buddhists spend much of their time cultivating to achieve bodhisattvahood swiftly for the sake of all sentient beings, and achieving bodhisattvahood is true compassion since in compassion there is more to physically helping.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Namo Amituofo!


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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:23 pm 
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You know i think Buddhists get an unfair rap over this issue.

First up in all the organizations and sects i belonged to many members were affiliated with groups that helped our world..
you would be surpirsed to know how many Buddhists are in Green Peace and the WWF, and many are volunteers in hospitols and such...

the Tulku and lamas i learn under always ask us to do some volunteer work in our society , even if that means cutting back on practice and study.....


organizations like the salvation Army take in a billion dollars a year...
i bet World Vision is the same...

United Way, the Red Cross are huge corporations....


some of these organizations use 90% of the donation to run the thing and pay huge salaries to executives....


Buddhists practice daily...they juggle a lot.... and most do help out in some way....

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:53 pm 
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alasdairyee wrote:
Namo Amituofo!

Nahh, I thought they were quite thought-invoking actually.

Anyway, I kind of found the answer. It's like us buddhists spend much of their time cultivating to achieve bodhisattvahood swiftly for the sake of all sentient beings, and achieving bodhisattvahood is true compassion since in compassion there is more to physically helping.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Namo Amituofo!


We need to develop compassion and I guess we all find our own ways to express it, as the causes and conditions present us with opportunities.

I feel that compassion grows through both meditation and application. I can't see how a person can sustain a mind of compassion and yet simultaneously not act accordingly.

An example: In a meditation class based on Compassion, the meditation session is exposed to noise from the street below which sounds like a violent attack. Do you continue meditating and cultivating the mind of Compassion or respond to the disturbance? My teacher at the time advised that one should continue with the meditation. My view was that we should retain the mind of Compassion but change the activity - so one may compassionately do what is necessary about the disturbance and then return to meditation.

If we choose meditation over physical action to reduce suffering, we may justify it in terms of our long term enlightenment being more important for other beings, but I see acts of compassion as a complementary aspect of practice. I can't see how present action to help other beings could possibly interfere with developing compassion for future benefit. Meditation is just one aspect of the path, not something which should preclude other expressions of the path. :anjali:

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:02 pm 
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alasdairyee wrote:
Something I've wondered about,

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? Why only meditation and cultivation to create this mind only "Bodhicitta"? Is this true compassion? When we compare this to Christians who go all out to help disaster victims, 3rd world countries?

I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.

Namo Amituofo! :D


Simple, Christians slap their name on their acts of good deeds for exposure, to convert people who see them doing "god's work". However, that's not to say they help for that sole purpose, but this is why you "see them".

Buddhists just do it, without want for recognition or to convert. A group of monastics at my temple in China have gone anonymously to aid at many disaster sites in their country, for earth quakes, floods, etc..

None of that work is televised or anything.

:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:35 am 
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alasdairyee wrote:
Something I've wondered about,

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? Why only meditation and cultivation to create this mind only "Bodhicitta"? Is this true compassion? When we compare this to Christians who go all out to help disaster victims, 3rd world countries?

I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.

Namo Amituofo! :D


We don't have to always do something as when one is projecting artful mind work which can harm others, is it nice to look in mind for the benefit of all. not to act through afflictions; increase delusion or bring panic among people. Remaining aware of what we do.

Not to eat meat and not to drink liquors which are asking lots of cereals and to produce such piece of meat many die. A study showed that when we should reduce eating meat and drinking alcohol for only 50% should this be enough to change the situation of the world. Now we can be aware of the many children diyng each day and say no to the liquor.

Careful with paper, take the bike...

To put the dependent origination into our daily life. "The essence of spiritual practice is your attitude toward others. When you have a pure, sincere motivation, then you have right attitude toward others based on kindness, compassion, love and respect." Dalai Lama.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:57 am 
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Quote:
Mahayana Compassion?
Since when compassion has name and form? :popcorn:
Quote:
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...? :tongue:

Quote:
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...
Quote:
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/not ... 5440879513
"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."
Secondly...
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?
Quote:
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?
Quote:
I'm not only talking about organisations here, I'm also talking about YOU.
The late Ven Master Hsuan Hua once remarked:
Quote:
http://www.dharmabliss.org/text%20page.htm
If you wish others to know about your good deeds, they are not truly good deeds.
If you fear others will find out about your bad deeds, those are truly bad deeds.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Dexing wrote:

Simple, Christians slap their name on their acts of good deeds for exposure, to convert people who see them doing "god's work". However, that's not to say they help for that sole purpose, but this is why you "see them".

Buddhists just do it, without want for recognition or to convert. A group of monastics at my temple in China have gone anonymously to aid at many disaster sites in their country, for earth quakes, floods, etc..

None of that work is televised or anything.

:namaste:


Well spoken. The authentic bodhisattva is the anonymous stranger who is completely committed to helping in a particular situation, and when the work is done, disappears.

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:56 pm 
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TMingyur wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
... then put into action those practices.


Which are the paramitas. This first is giving all possessions away.

Kind regards

:good:


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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Dexing wrote:
Simple, Christians slap their name on their acts of good deeds for exposure, to convert people who see them doing "god's work". However, that's not to say they help for that sole purpose, but this is why you "see them".

Buddhists just do it, without want for recognition or to convert. A group of monastics at my temple in China have gone anonymously to aid at many disaster sites in their country, for earth quakes, floods, etc..

None of that work is televised or anything.

:namaste:

this is true....rice Christians...here you want food , your starving...embrace the crucifix....

just an off topic note... :offtopic: uuu that guy looks cranky...it isn't going to be an off topic cranky note...it's full of Bodhicitta..

People are starving for true spiritual food....there are people in the guise of being realized who for money will help save you....

it's the same corruption game as the people who used food to gather followers....

just saying....


anyway...it is important to see that the Buddhist does deeds and does not look for gratification....material gratification and money for helping and profit for helping...just isn't Bodhicitta...

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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:55 pm 
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With complete respect.... Very engaging topic. Let me also add that Buddhists constantly go to disaster sites to give aid: These disaster sites are our own minds and we vow to visist them as often as possible to compassionately clear away the rubble of afflictive emotions. This is daunting work. Just because Buddhist don't get out there into the "real world" doesn't mean we are not practicing compassion. True compassion can only come into fruition when it is active. Whether we physically travel to other places to help others or sit in a quiet room for an hour in meditation, compassion is indeed realized, cultivated, and active. It takes a lot of compassioin to deal with the uncertainty of the human mind.

Just as a side note: it is very hard to find local Buddhist organizations that promote volunteer or relief work. I volunteer with a Christian organization in the city where I live. Although I am not a Christian I often remind myself that I offer my help for the sake of offering my help, not because I am a Buddhist. There is no agenda. The point here is to breakdown the barriers of conventional lables and just be. At our core we are human beings first; then all the other conventions we attach to ourselves (Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu) come afterward through our own designation. We need to ask ourselves: Who are we if we drop our lables and are not Buddhists or Christians? What is left?


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 Post subject: Re: Mahayana Compassion?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:26 pm 
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sfournier wrote:
With complete respect.... Very engaging topic. Let me also add that Buddhists constantly go to disaster sites to give aid: These disaster sites are our own minds and we vow to visist them as often as possible to compassionately clear away the rubble of afflictive emotions. This is daunting work. Just because Buddhist don't get out there into the "real world" doesn't mean we are not practicing compassion. True compassion can only come into fruition when it is active. Whether we physically travel to other places to help others or sit in a quiet room for an hour in meditation, compassion is indeed realized, cultivated, and active. It takes a lot of compassioin to deal with the uncertainty of the human mind.

Just as a side note: it is very hard to find local Buddhist organizations that promote volunteer or relief work. I volunteer with a Christian organization in the city where I live. Although I am not a Christian I often remind myself that I offer my help for the sake of offering my help, not because I am a Buddhist. There is no agenda.The point here is to breakdown the barriers of conventional lables and just be. At our core we are human beings first; then all the other conventions we attach to ourselves (Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu) come afterward through our own designation. We need to ask ourselves: Who are we if we drop our lables and are not Buddhists or Christians? What is left?


You are practicing Buddhism my friend.

Good work and many Buddhists including myself should remember to practice like you do.

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