Only when all your desires disappear does that energy become compassion, KARUNA. You cannot cultivate compassion. When you are desireless, compassion happens; your whole energy moves into compassion. And this movement is very different. Desire has a motivation in it, a goal; compassion is nonmotivated, there is no goal to it, it is simply overflowing energy.
Compassion does not just happen. Pity does, but compassion is not pity. It's not a feeling. Compassion is a viewpoint, a way of life, a perspective, a habit that becomes a discipline - and more than anything else, compassion is a choice we make that love is more important than comfort or convenience.
Glennon Doyle Melton
I think people believe empathy to be compassion, that compassion is an inner sense (a sense of the soul). But empathy is a sense, while compassion isn't a sense. Empathy is an affinity, a communion, a comprehension. They say that empathy is compassion, but I think that the two are independent of each other. You see, through empathy you will feel what another is feeling, including all those plans for manipulation and persuasion. You will feel everything, not just the parts that make you take compassion for the person, but also all the red flags! You see, empathy is a sense that works with the other senses such as foresight and intuition. So, we can feel compassion but we have to move with empathy.
C. JoyBell C.
While pity shows a lack of respect for other human beings, compassion has its roots in a deep respect for others. Pity is an emotion; compassion is a connection. Compassion sees the other as equal. Compassion happens when we care for another person enough to make his or her problems our own.
The human being is that space in which the comprehensive compassion that pervades the universe from the very beginning now begins to surface --within consciousness. (As compared with the natural displays of compassion by other creatures that is not necessarily 'within consciousness. ') That's the only difference. We didn't create compassion, but it's flowing through us-or it could. The phase change that we're in seems, to me, to depend upon that comprehensive compassion unfurling in the human species.
The nectar of compassion is so wonderful. If you are committed to keeping it alive, then you are protected. What the other person says will not touch off the anger and irritation in you, because compassion is the real antidote to anger. Nothing can heal anger except compassion. That is why the practice of compassion is a very wonderful practice.
Sometimes people feel disappointed when they hear about practicing compassion: "You mean I have to be nice?" It's kind of a letdown. We often overlook compassion, seeing it as merely a pit stop on the way to more advanced practices. We want something more; we don't even know what. But that's just a trick of our mind. One of the greatest teachings is to practice compassion.
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Hallaj points out Divine Compassion as another attribute which makes it possible for the personal "I, " ana, to enter into a silent and contemplative dialog with God (Tasin 10:24). The unknowability of God is received as Divine Compassion by man. The human cry of isolation is answered by compassion. But the ascending path leading to Divine Compassion begins with man's unconditional yes to the Divine Will.
Wisdom is nothing more than the marriage of intelligence and compassion. And, as with all good unions, it takes much experience and time to reach its widest potential. Have you introduced your intellect to your compassion yet? Be careful; lately, intellect has taken to eating in front of the TV and compassion has taken in too many cats.
In contrast, compassion manifests in us as the offering of kindness rather than withdrawal. Because compassion is a state of mind that is itself open, abundant and inclusive, it allows us to meet pain more directly. With direct seeing, we know that we are not alone in our suffering and that no one need feel alone when in pain. Seeing our oneness is the beginning of compassion, and it allows us to reach beyond aversion and separation.
To feel overflowing love and almost unbearable compassion for all living creatures is the best way to fulfil the wishes of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Even if for the moment you cannot actually help a sentient being in an external way, meditate on love and compassion constantly over the months and years until compassion is knit inseparably into the very fabric of your mind.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Our compassion is the fruit of our spiritual lives; it actually arises spontaneously when formed by intention in our spiritual practice. Love and compassion are always the goods of the spiritual journey, and they are guided by divine wisdom, which then shapes compassion in the concrete situations of our existence.
Compassion and mercy are important, period. It doesn't matter who's at our receiving end, but we need to be flexing those muscles. It's not mutually exclusive: If you have compassion for children starving in Africa, it doesn't mean you can't have compassion for adults in Africa or animals that are being tortured and abused.
In the alchemy of man's soul almost all noble attributes- courage, honor, love, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, and so on - can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion, even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
Hurt people hurt people. We are not being judgmental by separating ourselves from such people. But we should do so with compassion. Compassion is defined as a "keen awareness of the suffering of another coupled with a desire to see it relieved." People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain. Avoid the reactive response of believeing they are bad; they already think so and are acting that way. They aren't bad; they are damaged and they deserve compassion. Note that compassion is an internal process, an understanding of the painful and troubled road trod by another. It is not trying to change or fix that person.
It is utterly and irrevocably possible to empty all hurts and, therefore, to love, to have compassion. To have compassion means to have passion for all things, not just between two people, but for all human beings, for all things of the earth, the animals, the trees, everything the earth contains. When we have such compassion we will not despoil the earth as we are doing now, and we will have no wars.
Hatred, jealousy and excessive attachment cause suffering and agitation. I feel compassion can help us overcome these disturbances and let us return to a calm state of mind. Compassion is not just being kind to your friend. That involves attachment because it is based on expectation. Compassion is when you do something good without any expectations - based on realizing that "the other person is also just like me".
Compassion arises naturally as the quivering of the heart in the face of pain, ours and another's. True compassion is not limited by the separateness of pity, nor by the fear of being overwhelmed. When we come to rest in the great heart of compassion, we discover a capacity to bear witness to, suffer with, and hold dear with our own vulnerable heart the sorrows and beauties of the world.
If you love the justice of Jesus Christ more than you fear human judgment then you will seek to do compassion. Compassion means that if I see my friend and my enemy in equal need, I shall help them both equally. Justice demands that we seek and find the stranger, the broken, the prisoner and comfort them and offer them our help. Here lies the holy compassion of God that causes the devils much distress.
Mechthild of Magdeburg
In the alchemy of man's soul almost all noble attributes-courage, honor, love, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc.-can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. Nature has no compassion. It is, in the words of William Blake, "a creation that groans, living on the death; where fish and bird and beast and tree and metal and stone live by devouring." Nature accepts no excuses and the only punishment it knows is death.
The compassion we feel normally is biased and mixed with attachment. Genuine compassion flows towards all living beings, particularly your enemies. If I try to develop compassion towards my enemy, it may not benefit him directly, he may not even be aware of it. But it will immediately benefit me by calming my mind. On the other hand, if I dwell on how awful everything is, I immediately lose my peace of mind.
To live out of understanding is compassion. Never try to practice it, simply relax deep into meditation. Be in a state of let-go in meditation and suddenly you will be able to smell the fragrance that is coming from your own innermost depth. Then the flower blossoms and compassion spreads. Meditation is the flower and compassion is its fragrance.
What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The I and the you vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved.
In my own field, I know that solid science can easily be done with ethics and compassion. There's nothing wrong with compassionate or sentimental science or scientists. Studies of animal thought, emotions, and self-awareness, as well as behavioral ecology and conservation biology, can all be compassionate as well as scientifically rigorous. Science and the ethical treatment of animals aren't incompatible. We can do solid science with an open mind and a big heart. I encourage everyone to go where their hearts take them, with love, not fear. If we all travel this road, the world will be a better place for all beings. Kinder and more humane choices will be made when we let our hearts lead the way. Compassion begets compassion and caring for and loving animals spills over into compassion and caring for humans. The umbrella of compassion is very important to share freely and widely.
Compassion dervies from the Latin patiri and the Greek pathein, meaning "to suffer, undergo or experience." So "compassion" means "to endure [something] with another person, " to put ourselves in somebody else's shoes, to feel her pain as though it were our own, and to enter generously into his point of view. That is why our hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else. Compassion can be defined, therefore, as an attitude of principled, consistent altruism.
Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself because compassion is enviromental generosity, without direction, without " for me" and without " for them". It is filled with joy, spontaneously existing joy, constant joy in the sense of trust, in the sense that joy contains tremendous wealth, richness.
To possess both wisdom and compassion is the heart of our human revolution. If you have wisdom alone and lack compassion, it will be a cold, perverse wisdom. If you have compassion alone and lack wisdom, you cannot give happiness to others. You are even likely to lead them in the wrong direction, and you won't be able to achieve your own happiness.