Dhammalogue no.8

In this late night episode of Dhammalogues we'll discuss Compassion
Dhammalogue no.8
Igor: We've been explaining in these weekend entries some of the pilars of the Buddha's teachings and one cannot talk about the Buddhist view of life without refering to compassion. The Buddha did not teach anything that wasn't his direct experience, he didn't have an inclination towards dogmas, superstitions or rules that did not reflect the truth of his experience, the truth he saw in meditation and in life. He wasn't a 'should and shouldn't' kind of teacher, more a 'fire will burn you if you put your hand in it' one... And then it would be up to you to choose wether you want to get burned or not. And yet, he put, throughout out his entire life, the teaching of compassion up there with his his jewel teachings. He didn't say 'you must be good, it's the right thing to do', no, he wasn't like that, but instead he said: 'If you want to be happy, my friend, you'll need to exercise compassion, not just towards others, but also towards yourself, not just towards your friends, but also towards your enemies, not just towards people, but towards all the creatures in nature. For him it was clear that in the cooking of human happiness, compassion is a neccesary ingredient. How to be skillfully compassionate is a long journey that requires for us to develope clear view, insight, so I imagine him very understanding of people's shortcomings, but he would always encourage us to keep trying, to never give up and keep working at loving ourselves and others. So my question today is why? Why is it that The Buddha saw the cultivation of compassion as an essencial component of a happy life?

Jenny: Our happiness is directly connected to that of others. We are all interconnected. Beyond just the human experience, life IS interconnectedness any one who has ever seen a colony of ants at work, or gotten educated in the ways that our complex nature works, comprehends that. By ourselves we cannot survive, neither as individuals, as a species or as inhabitants of this earth.
If you feel well but your partner, child, neighbour, waitress, does not, their discontent will reflect and color your life experience, you will be directly affected, how you experience the world is dependent on the state of it.
We all know that the actual feeling of love is in itself very satisfying. You can have a day that is completely ordinary but if you experience it feeling love, it changes and becomes extraordinary, if you have ever been in love you know what I am referring to. Love gives a feeling of deep contentment and confidence. Whether it is triggered by a budding romance or friendship, the fact that you love and feel loved relaxes you and allows you to open up to others. Arguments and difference of opinion are worked through because love gives very strong motivation and makes us look for resolution. Now imagine if that would be the relationship you had to the world, everyone your friend no one your enemy. You would look to resolve differences and end conflicts in love, if the world was an environment as comfortable as the company of friends. That is what a life lived in compassion would feel like. And a life in love, surely is a happier one, than one without.

I: You want to be kind to others not because it's the right thing to do or because you'll get punished if you aren't but because you understand that compassion is hapiness, that a warm heart is a happy heart. Does compassion need to be expressed in the same way for everyone, is there such a thing as a universal language for compassion?

J: The sun warms up everyone equally but casts a different shadow under every tree, a shadow that is changing every second...

I: Beautiful, I'll take that to bed with me.

J: I love you


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