Loving Kindness & Compassion

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madhusudan
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Loving Kindness & Compassion

Post by madhusudan »

I tend to see loving kindness as the relative factor, dealing with sentient beings' immediate needs - such as a kind word, comfort, food, shelter, etc. I have read of compassion being defined as wishing all beings to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. So, I tend to understand this as referring to emptiness.

How far off am I?

Thanks.
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Anders
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Re: Loving Kindness & Compassion

Post by Anders »

madhusudan wrote:I tend to see loving kindness as the relative factor, dealing with sentient beings' immediate needs - such as a kind word, comfort, food, shelter, etc. I have read of compassion being defined as wishing all beings to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. So, I tend to understand this as referring to emptiness.

How far off am I?

Thanks.
Compassion, or lovingkindness is felt, not understood. When it is felt deeply enough, it bursts the dams and can extend to all beings.

As for referring to emptiness or particulars etc - I think it is reflected in two ways: One is as a gateway - It is possible to offer one's very thoughts, mind and life all up to the Buddhas as a gift to all sentient beings. Such Dana paramita can be a gateway to emptiness.

The other is that those who realise the emptiness of self and other and are imbued with compassion simply do not distinguish between compassion for one person and another. It extends freely without discrimination.

As for the textual definition, Maitri and Karuna are both described in their relative limited expression and their limitless expressions, so they do not differ on that account. I'd suggest the main difference between the two is that karuna touches on the aspect of recognising suffering and wishing beings to be free of it whilst maitri touches on the aspect of recognising goodness and wishing beings to enjoy this.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Konchok Namgyal
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Re: Loving Kindness & Compassion

Post by Konchok Namgyal »

Compassion stems from the latin root "compati", roughly translated it means to suffer with.
(thus the word compatible...or able to suffer with )
It is really naturally arising and very instinctual, all of us are born with it , even many animals show compassion not only towards their own species , but sometimes toward beings of other species as well.
It is part of what can be described as Buddha nature, meaning it inherently exists in all of us.
Pity is not compassion, handing a homeless person money is not necessarily compassionate, seeing that they have shelter and food on the other hand may be more compassionate if it is done with the proper intent.
True compassion I.E. that of a Bhodisattva, would be to the extent that you would give any one anything that would relieve their suffering.
The Buddha , only through his compassion , sought and discovered a way to free all sentient beings.
Emptiness in not necessarily freedom from suffering, it is part of it, yes.

compassion, wisdom, emptiness, knowingness are all part of the same equation, but all are separate as well.

Ultimate freedom from suffering can only come from realizing the nature of ones own mind...
I hope this is beneficial !
Recognize that your mind is the unity of being empty and cognizant, suffused with knowing. When your attention is extroverted, you fall under the sway of thoughts. Let your attention recognize itself. Recognize that it is empty. That which recognizes is the cognizance. You can trust at that moment that these two – emptiness and cognizance – are an original unity. Seeing this is called self-knowing wakefulness. ~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Loving Kindness & Compassion

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

In Mahayana, Compassion is removing or lessening suffering; Love is giving happiness.
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
TRC
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Re: Loving Kindness & Compassion

Post by TRC »

Maitrī: (loving kindness) is the wish that all beings be well, happy and free from suffering.

Karuṇā: (compassion) is the undertaking of this task that all beings are well, happy and free from suffering.
        • And also the other two of the Four Immeasurables:
Muditā: (appreciative joy) is the rejoicing in the happiness, successes and virtues of all sentient beings.

Upekṣā: (equanimity) is the unconditional extension to ALL beings, without any hint of bias or prejudice, of the above three.
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