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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: compassion

Bodhipaksa

May 11, 2013

Avoiding cruelty, the “far enemy” of compassion Day 30)

100 Days of LovingkindnessYesterday I wrote about the complexities of the “near enemy” of compassion, which is the grief that arises from attachment. So we might feel bad when we see someone suffering, but not actually have any empathy for them. That’s not compassion. It’s “grief” at having our normal experience disrupted by someone who’s inconsiderate enough to suffer. Or we may spiral into despair and sorrow (which is called “failed compassion”) because we’re unable to bear the discomfort of knowing someone is suffering. This is all rather tricky for people to get hold of, sometimes, and it’s potentially undermining because we can end up doubting, in an unhelpful, self-hating kind of …

Wildmind Meditation News

May 10, 2013

Dalai Lama packs UM Comcast Center for address on compassion

Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun: He pulled on a Terps visor, to the crowd’s delight. He rubbed noses with Gov. Martin O’Malley. And the Dalai Lama was met Tuesday with rounds of applause from a crowd of 15,000 at the University of Maryland, College Park’s Comcast Center.

“Sit down,” the 78-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader said in a firm but friendly voice when he approached the podium and the crowd rose to its feet. “No formality! We are [the] same. … The way we are born, the way we die: no formality.”

Clad in red robes and his trademark spectacles, the Dalai Lama appeared…

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Bodhipaksa

May 09, 2013

Sorrow is failed compassion (Day 28)

100 Days of LovingkindnessI’ve had more people asking me about the “near enemy” of compassion. So here goes…

The “near enemy” is, by definition, something you might confuse with compassion. You might think you were cultivating compassion but were actually cultivating something else, in the same way that you might water and care for a weed, thinking it’s a useful plant. The “far enemy” is quite straightforward. It’s cruelty, or indifference to suffering, which is just the direct opposite of compassion. That’s easy to understand. But what is compassion’s “near enemy”?

People often use the word “pity” to describe the near enemy, but the traditional commentaries use the word “grief.” Compassion is also …

Bodhipaksa

May 08, 2013

Compassion is inherent to us all (Day 27)

100 Days of LovingkindnessTalking about cultivating or developing compassion can have the unfortunate side-effect of giving us the idea that compassion is something we don’t have, and need to create. Actually, the words cultivate and develop are meant to imply that we already have compassion as a natural attribute, and that what we need to do is to connect with this innate compassion and make it stronger. Really, karuna bhavana is “strengthening compassion.”

Compassion is part of our genetically inherited mental tool-kit. Other animals show compassion: primatologist Frans de Waal (one of my personal heroes) points out that chimpanzees take care of the sick and elderly, for example by bringing water …

Wildmind Meditation News

May 07, 2013

Dalai Lama visits the United States

Harold Mandel, Examiner.com: There is a lot of excitement among many Americans about the visit of the Dalai Lama to the United States. Phayul.com has reported on May 6, 2013, The Dalai Lama leaves for US visit. On Sunday His Holiness the Dalai Lama left his exile hometown of Dharamshala, north India, for a visit of the United States of America. He has been invited by various universities, colleges, and organizations to interact with students and give a series of lectures, public talks, discussions, and teachings on topics which range from compassion to global environment.

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to begin his public engagements…

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Bodhipaksa

May 07, 2013

Cultivating compassion (Day 26)

100 Days of LovingkindnessThere are four related dimensions of lovingkindness, together called the “divine abodes,” or Brahmaviharas. These four are (1) lovingkindness itself, (2) compassion, (3) appreciation, and (4) even-minded love. I devoted the first quarter of our 100 Days to lovingkindness, and I’m going to write about compassion, the second of these practices, for the second quarter.

The meditation of cultivating compassion is called karuna bhavana. Karuna is compassion, and bhavana means “development” or “cultivation.”

Metta, or lovingkindness, is the desire of bringing that which is welfare and good to oneself and others. Compassion is the desire to remove suffering, especially from others.

The Vimuttimagga, a very early meditation manual dating from just a few centuries after …

Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 21, 2013

Buddhism, the Dalai Lama and me

Poppy Damon, Varsity, Cambridge, UK: ‘Whether one believes in a religion or not and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.’ Dalai Lama
When I was 14 I skipped school. It wasn’t to go drink VKS in the park like other ‘kids my age’. I went see the Dalai Lama speak at the ‘Burswood Dome’ in Western Australia, a venue graced by the likes of Elton John and boasting a humungous casino complex. In light of his recent visit to Cambridge and the very valid and interesting discussion that it has caused (for once)…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 01, 2013

Can meditation make you a more compassionate person?

Scientists have mostly focused on the benefits of meditation for the brain and the body, but a new study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, takes a look at what impacts meditation may have on interpersonal harmony and compassion.

The study, conducted by psychological scientist David DeSteno of Northeastern University and colleagues, invited participants to complete eight-week trainings in two types of meditation. After the sessions, they were put to the test.

Sitting in a staged waiting room with three chairs were two actors. With one empty chair left, the participant sat down and waited to be called. Another actor using crutches and appearing to be in great physical pain, would then enter the room. As …

Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 28, 2013

How Buddhism can help Eagles soar

Al Reiger, The Western Courier: Some call it mental toughness. The ability to block out the thousands of screaming fans, the pressure of failing your team and school can give the young athletes on the Florida Gulf Coast men’s basketball team a competitive edge as they make their push toward the Elite Eight

Mindfulness, visualization and compassion — practices rooted in ancient eastern religions such as Buddhism — have been proven to help people with addictions, life problems and to foster happiness overall.

Dubbed the “Zen Master,” former NBA head coach Phil Jackson applied these principles of Buddhism to his life and…

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Bodhipaksa

Feb 21, 2013

When you harm others, you harm yourself

casualties-of-war-movie-poster-1989-1020469753The statement in the title of this post is a common belief in spiritual and religious circles, but it appears there’s some hard evidence that when you harm others, you harm yourself as well.

According to a press release from the Association for Psychological Science, researchers looked into why it is that some soldiers (31.6%) who have traumatic combat exposure develop PTSD.

It seems that three factors are important: age, a history of childhood physical abuse, and harming civilians or POWs.

…childhood experiences of physical abuse or a pre-Vietnam psychiatric disorder other than PTSD were strong contributors to PTSD onset. Age also seemed to play an important role: Men who were younger than