This is such an important question for so many people. I think the problem arises from approaching the whole thing from a Western cultural point of view. We value a sense of social responsibility and abhor hypocrisy and self-deception. We tend to believe in just this one life we are in now and that we have to solve the world’s problems… Continue reading What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?
You don’t actually need to maintain that pattern. Every little inch of it could be given a little nudge and a push and somehow, at some point, it could all collapse and it could be a new day, a new life, a new you and a whole different feel about life and about everything. It does happen in the end. Continue reading What if Reflecting on Impermanence & Death Feels Hopeless?
How do you feel when you open yourself to the suffering of others? Does it leave you with a hopeless feeling? Do you find yourself closing off very quickly? Since others are always going to suffer is it possible ever to experience complete joy and freedom from suffering? The Buddha, the Awakened One, said it was… Continue reading How do you feel when you open to the suffering of others?
For me love and compassion is what happens between beings – not inanimate objects. Yet we do talk about communion with nature and the landscape don’t we? We talk of caring for the world around us and treating it with gentleness and respect – which feels a bit like love and compassion. Maybe that is because we intuit that somehow it is not all somehow ‘out there’… Continue reading Can we practise Love and Compassion to inanimate objects such as mountains?
Sometimes even the word compassion suggests a kind of superiority – looking down on others who are less fortunate than I am as if from some moral high ground. It leads to people saying things like ‘I don’t want your compassion or your pity!!!’ Continue reading How to get the right touch when practising sending love & compassion to others?
You are right that we have to strive for the good and reject the bad. The question here is what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. It means we have to give up the mind that gets attached to what it perceives as good and that reacts against what it perceives as bad. From the point of view of that kind of reactive mind, it has to learn to just relax and let whatever happens happen… Continue reading Why does it sometimes say in Buddhist teachings to give up both ‘the good and the bad’. Surely we should strive for the good and reject the bad?
It is not the case that love and compassion always feel cosy, warm and intimate. Love and compassion can manifest in different ways and can be classified according to what are called the five Buddha families or Buddha Wisdoms. Continue reading Love and Compassion are not always cosy and warm
The chances are that your actions are mixed with some elements that could be purer but if we had to be pure before we could accumulate punya how would any of us purify ourselves? Good actions that are directed at benefitting others always bring punya (often translated as merit) – i.e. good karmic results. Continue reading Am I a fraud? Am I craving the approval of others through my good actions?
The climate and environmental emergency is a reminder that we are living in Samsara where all is conditioned and impermanent and driven by the results of karma both individually and for whole groups. In this particular situation we can see that much of what is happening is due to greed, hate and delusion on the part of many egocentric human beings. Continue reading Student’s Question: Climate Emergency – How Best to Act & Help as Buddhists?
I often get asked about compassion towards oneself. A lot of people feel more comfortable when they are suffering than when they are enjoying themselves. It is curious isn’t it? All this is very confused thinking and needs to be sorted out right at the beginning of the path. Otherwise there will be a tendency to look on meditation and Dharma practice as some kind of self-punishment and that won’t lead to liberation, peace and happiness at all! Continue reading How can I develop compassion towards myself?