That sense of overwhelm in the light of world suffering is called ‘revulsion at samsara’ in Buddhism and is an important quality to cultivate. It is actually the healthy functioning of our Buddha Nature – our intrinsic openness, clarity and sensitivity. It is what compassion feels like… Continue reading How do you maintain compassion without getting miserable? How to deal with overwhelm and depression due to all the suffering in the world
The important thing about the Apramanas practice is to really break through that thinking and dare to wish all beings to be happy and free from suffering, because that is actually what you’re wishing for, and you do wish it to be radical happiness, where they’ve realised what is the cause of suffering and what causes happiness, and they’re just abiding by that, so they’re not going to fall back into suffering… Continue reading The Pranidhana for Radical Happiness at the Heart of Love & Compassion Teachings
You are right to make a distinction between a psychological self-help approach and genuine love and compassion, which emerges through our Dharma practice. The latter can only develop if we let go of our delusions that create samsara. Continue reading Loving Kindness to ourselves – Dharma Practice or Self-help?
Yes, we love others because we are all Buddha by nature and yes, just thinking that could be too simplistic and coarse. That is because the thinking is too simplistic and coarse – not because the thought is false in itself. This is a very important point and applies to almost every situation in life. Just thinking things without it really leading to a deeper experiential understanding doesn’t change much – but often that is where we need to start. Continue reading Do we love others because we are all the same, or because of our differences?
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?