Compassion

The cultivation of karuna, or compassion, which tempers wisdom's cool discernment
  • Tricycle Community 25 comments

    The Examined Life Paid Member

    I address you now not as your professor, but as Seido, Rinzai Zen monk, caretaker of Hokoku-An Zendo. The semester has come to an end. When I look out at you I see 30 people. When you look at me you see one. But for each one of you I am a different professor. There are 30 different versions of me standing before you in this classroom. It is my job to create a relationship of sorts with each and every one of you. I do that by reading your journals and your papers, by observing how you are in class, whether or not you come prepared, whether or not you take notes, how often you text, and how often you nod off. I’m like Santa Claus. I see you when you’re sleeping and I know when you’re awake; I know when you’re taking notes and when you’re checking your Facebook page. More »
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    Why Compassion? Paid Member

    Oh, for a great mansion of ten thousand roomsWhere all the poor on earth could find welcome shelter Steady through every storm, secure as a mountain! Ah, were such a building to spring up before me, I would freeze to death in my wrecked hut well content. —Tu Fu, My Thatched Hut Is Wrecked by the Autumn Wind While serving as the Buddhist representative on the AIDS Interfaith Council in Los Angeles in the late 1980s, I was struck by what a Christian fundamentalist minister from a conservative county in California said at one meeting to her very liberal Episcopalian and Jewish colleagues. More »
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    Compassion Restored Paid Member

    Before becoming one of the great world religion scholars of our time and a self-proclaimed “freelance monotheist,” Karen Armstrong had given up on religion. Raised in England in the years following World War II, Armstrong became a Roman Catholic nun in the order of Society of the Holy Child Jesus when she was still a teenager. After seven painful years, Armstrong left the church, frustrated and fed up with what she felt was an overly dogmatic institution. More »
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    Natural Bravery Paid Member

    Each week tricycle.com features a Tricycle Retreat video teaching delivered by a different well-known Buddhist teacher. This column introduces Gaylon Ferguson's September retreat on fear and fearlessness as a path to awakening. More »
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    Great Compassion Paid Member

    Great compassion is like the sky, because it covers all living beings; great compassion is like the earth, because it produces all the teachings; great compassion makes it possible to see buddhanature, by first clarifying real knowledge for the sake of others. Great compassion makes it possible to pass through unyielding barriers, by plumbing the profound teachings more and more for the sake of others. Great compassion makes it possible to penetrate the transcendental, by seeking a life beyond for others. Great compassion can develop powerful application, by striving on this path for the sake of others. Great compassion can activate intrepidness, by keeping a vigorous will alive for the sake of others. Great compassion makes it possible to get beyond regression, because the mind is settled for the sake of others. Great compassion can produce broad learning, by studying everything for the sake of others. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    An Everyday Aspiration Paid Member

    In early spring, I moved to a house in a village at the edge of Cambridge, England, where I work as a writer and administrator in a local Buddhist center. I share this small house overlooking cornfields with two friends, both of whom are also Buddhist. Though our living arrangements are not formally oriented toward communal practice, we take for granted that each of us will try our best to support the others; we know we can assume a certain vocabulary and a familiarity with shared ideals and approaches to our practice. So when one of my housemates upbraided me a few weeks back for not doing my share of the housework, he reminded me—without sanctimony—of the bodhisattva aspiration. More »