Compassion in the Theravada

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Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:24 pm

Dear friends,

I wonder why practice on compassion (karuna) has going lost in the most original teaching of the Buddhadhamma. Why comes like that as the basis, the motivation of the Buddha Gautama was Compassion.
As I had observed metta (loving kindness) is used and common, but from my personal view universal love is a state that is not easy to reach and for sure one of the last steps on the ladder.
Do I have any misunderstanding?

I had no real teaching and just compare my experiences to things that I see and read in Buddhism.
Compassion is a very strong power, how can it be that it is not used.

As the precepts are rooted on compassion, is there a reason why it is hidden behind it or is it to get sure that it grows by it self so that it can not be practiced as pity or any self sacrificing.

Thanks
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Aloka » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:16 pm

Hi Hanzze,

The practice of loving kindness and compassion is most certainly active in Theravada.

I very much enjoyed reading this teaching "Wings of the Eagle" in which Ajahn Jayasaro discusses the inseperability of wisdom and compassion. Perhaps you might enjoy it too.

http://www.amaravati.org/fsn/html/42/42.htm

There's also a talk by Ajahn Sumedho called "Unconditioned love" available to listen to here:

http://www.dhammatalks.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=105:unconditioned-love&catid=34:dhammatalks&Itemid=61

With metta,

Aloka
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:22 pm

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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:48 pm

Hi Hanzze,
Hanzze wrote:I had no real teaching and just compare my experiences to things that I see and read in Buddhism.
Compassion is a very strong power, how can it be that it is not used.

I've not come across any reputable Buddhist teachers that don't use it.
e.g.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el006.html


Mike
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:56 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Some Buddhist charities:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... _charities

Charity does not imply karuna.

Because:

Charitable acts can be done with unwholesome motivation. (Oh, look at me – aren’t I wonderful etc.)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:28 pm

Greetings,

When you understand the causes of suffering and your own experiences with dukkha, you understand also that other people experience similar sufferings too.

Having compassion for your own suffering, it's hard to not extend that compassion to others who are suffering in their own way. Or so I find anyway. Unless they're a jerk - but even then, I'll try.

I won't go into discussion on 'limitless' or 'boundless' compassion here - I'm just referring to common concern for the sufferings and well-being of your fellow man.

Of such compassion, I do not see any vacuum within the Theravada tradition.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:46 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:52 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Some Buddhist charities:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... _charities

thanks for sharing!
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:55 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:02 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:07 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:23 am

Hanzze wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Hanzze,
I've not come across any reputable Buddhist teachers that don't use it.
Mike

There are many I think, it is natural, but I can not see it in the traditional teaching (monastery in south east asia).

That's strange, because my teachers are mostly from my local Thai Wat, which is a branch of a Bangkok Wat.

Mike
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:29 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:31 am

Hanzze wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:That's strange, because my teachers are mostly from my local Thai Wat, which is a branch of a Bangkok Wat.
Mike

Are you sure that they teach it the same way to Thai people?

Certainly the teachers I know. I can't speak for the whole of SE Asia, or Thailand for that matter.
Hanzze wrote:Are you are talking about karuna as fundamental power for the faith and as a basic instrument to understand the dhamma?

I'm not quite sure what you are asking here but I see the development of compassion as something that is essential to the path, along with generosity, sila, and other such attributes.

Mike
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:53 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:34 am

Hanzze wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I'm not quite sure what you are asking here but I see the development of compassion as something that is essential to the path, along with generosity, sila, and other such attributes.
Mike

what you are telling here I can see also, compassion as a result, natural result (if practiced right) but compassion used as a power to get into...
To get into sila easier, explained as the root of sila

Well, sorry, I guess I don't understand what you mean by " used as a power to get into..."

I gave a standard reference here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el006.html
The ultimate aim of attaining these Brahma-vihara-jhanas is to produce a state of mind that can serve as a firm basis for the liberating insight into the true nature of all phenomena, as being impermanent, liable to suffering and unsubstantial. A mind that has achieved meditative absorption induced by the sublime states will be pure, tranquil, firm, collected and free of coarse selfishness. It will thus be well prepared for the final work of deliverance which can be completed only by insight.

Is that how you see it, or is there something I'm missing?

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:09 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:46 am

Hanzze wrote:From your argument it seems there is only one motivation, that is to attain jhanas or the next step..

It's not an argument. You asked about compassion and I replied.

The Buddha taught dukkha and the end of dukkha. It seems clear to me that development of compassion is a part of the path he taught, and it's part of what all teachers I know much about teach.

Mike
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:02 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Compassion in the Theravada

Postby Hanzze » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:24 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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