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One of the things that most nourishes true compassion is clarity—when we know what we are thinking and know what we are feeling. This clarity differentiates compassion from shallow martyrdom, when we are only thinking of others and we are never caring about ourselves. This clarity differentiates compassion from what might be thought of as a conventional kind of self-preoccupation, when we care only about ourselves and not about others. The Buddha said at one point that if we truly loved ourselves we would never harm another, because if we harm another it is in some way diminishing who we are; it is taking away from rather than adding to our lives.
- Sharon Salzberg from "A Quiver of the Heart," Tricycle Spring 2009
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