Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I love you, you love me...

"True happiness comes not from a limited concern for one's own well-being, or that of those one feels close to, but from developing love and compassion for all sentient beings." - cited recently on the Amida-shu member blog "lotusinthemud" from The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness

I posted a comment on that blog, but then I was thinking about this topic, and I figure in addition to plugging a great blog like lotusinthemud, I should make my mea culpa regarding this Buddhist principle (slightly more) visible...
Not to sound like a downer, but I think most of us see that teaching as an intellectually appealing philosophy, but actually realizing it - embodying it - I dunno, I'll admit, I have yet to do it. Trying to summon feelings of compassion or empathy, I may direct it towards myself, people I like, people I don't like, and people I have no real knowledge of, then a generalized "humanity", etc, but it's just a feeble effort. I barely scratch the surface of true compassion, then snap right back to my limited selfish little view of the world for most of my daily affairs. It's a healthy practice I suppose but it can leave me feeling really inadequate.
Then there is another way of looking at it - with a nod to some of the teachings of the Flower Garland school, or the idea of Indra's net, and other examples (from Pure Land, Chan, Nichiren, etc etc) - that a genuine moment of compassion, even a small one, directed towards even a single sentient being, reflects and echos throughout the cosmos. The light of all Buddhas and Bodhisattva's shine through us in that moment, a dazzling display of the heart of the world.
So how about you?

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