Compassion

The cultivation of karuna, or compassion, which tempers wisdom's cool discernment
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    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 »
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    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 »
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    From Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching Paid Member

    When there is understanding and a set of values that encourage sharing, then the limitations, the needs, and the lacks of any given life can be acknowledged and effort can be put into using material supports with compassion. This is also true in cases of deprivation; surely a major contributor to this is the greed and exploitation of others, which has its source in identification with material prosperity. If we could all accept the experience of limitation on our resources and comforts, if affluent people’s standard of living were not so high, there would be fewer people who felt, and actually were, “poor.” Maybe with more sharing, there would be less severe physical deprivation. Instead of creating golf courses in the desert, or seeing air-conditioning, two cars, and countless television channels as necessities of life, we could try to accept limitations to our material circumstances and acknowledge that there is suffering. More »