The compassionate monkey

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

The compassionate monkey

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:25 am

A story claimed by both Buddhists and Sufis...


One day a monkey had an profound experience which made him far more aware of the suffering of others, and much more compassionate.
He resolved to put this compassion into action.
Walking through the jungle path he was a worm lying in the sun...he gently picked it up and placed in the shade on wet soil.
Walking on again he saw a wasp in a puddle, so he fished it out with a leaf and left it to dry.
He then came to a clear pool, where he saw a fish. Overwhelmed with compassion he scooped the fish from the water and lodged it in the branch of a tree..... to prevent it from drowning.
Fired with compassion he then looked for more creatures to help..



The moral is. when confronted with the suffering of others, particularly their mental suffering, we need to know what is likely to help. and what might make things worse..

User avatar
Hanzze
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: Cambodia

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Hanzze » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:35 am

Good story :thumbsup: but I think the part with the fish was added later :tongue:
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 _()_

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:00 pm

:roll: :roll: :roll: Is it possible to conceive of a point being missed so utterly ?

plwk
Posts: 1170
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Contact:

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby plwk » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:10 pm

Where angels fear to tread, there is Hanzze....
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page

User avatar
phil
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Tokyo

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby phil » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:17 pm

So what's the point? Avoid any kind of helpful intervention because there is a risk you will misjudge a person's need for help? Worth the risk, I'd say.

edit - I just saw the moral. The point about it being mental suffering is cause for pause, there is a tendency to want to play mental healer for people who open up here....
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:25 pm

phil wrote:So what's the point? Avoid any kind of helpful intervention because there is a risk you will misjudge a person's need for help? Worth the risk, I'd say.

edit - I just saw the moral. The point about it being mental suffering is cause for pause, there is a tendency to want to play mental healer for people who open up here....

:anjali:

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:29 pm

plwk wrote:Where angels fear to tread, there is Hanzze....



Ok here is the original story with no additions, as found in Idris Shah among others...


"A kindly monkey saw a fish in a pool and wanting to help, the monkey scooped the fish out of the water and placed it in a tree for safe keeping."



As you will see the "added bits" were everything else... :lol:

User avatar
Hanzze
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: Cambodia

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Hanzze » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:50 pm

PeterB wrote: "A kindly monkey saw a fish in a pool and wanting to help, the monkey scooped the fish out of the water and placed it in a tree for safe keeping."

WIthout the other parts, that story I would believe *smile* but a monkey with so much awarness, seeing a worm needs shadow would not place a fish on a tree.

How ever, it is a importand issue. Let me add a story:

Balancing Wisdom and Compassion

Wisdom must always be balanced by compassion, and compassion must be balanced by wisdom. We cannot have peace without this balance. I would like to share three stories to illustrate this.
One day, a violent dragon king met a Bodhisattva on the path. The Bodhisattva said, „My son, do not kill. If you keep the five precepts and care for all life, you will be happy.“ Hearing just these few words, the dragon became totally nonviolent.
The children who tended animals at the foot of the Himalayan mountains had been very afraid of the dragon. But when the dragon became gently, they lost there fear and soon began to jump on him, pull his tail, and stuff stones and dirt into his mouth. After a while, the dragon could not eat, and became very sick.
The next time the dragon king met the Bodhisattva, he shouted, “You told me that if I kept the precepts and was compassionate, I would be happy. But now I suffer, and I am not happy at all.”
The Boddhisattva replied, “My son, if you have compassion, morality, and virtue, you must also have wisdom and intelligence. This is the way to protect yourself. The next time the children make you suffer, show them your fire. After that, they will trouble you no more.”
Who was harmed when the dragon lacked wisdom? Both the dragon and the children suffered.
The balance of wisdom and compassion is called the middle path. Here is another story. Once an old farmer found a dying cobra in his ricefield. Seeing the cobra’s suffering, the farmer was filled with compassion. He picked up the snake and carried him home. Then he fed the cobra warm milk, wrapped him in a soft blanket, and lovingly placed the snake beside him in his bed as he went to sleep. In the morning, the farmer was dead.
Why was he killed? Because he used compassion and not wisdom. If you pick up a cobra, it will bite you. When you find a way to save the dying cobra without lifting it, you have balanced wisdom with compassion. Then you are happy, and the cobra is happy, too.
Here is the third story: There was a farmer who went into the forest with his friend to gather wood. When the farmer struck a tree with his axe, he disturbed a beehive, and a swarm of angry bees flew out and began stinging him.
The farmer’s friend was filled with compassion. He grabbed his axe and killed the bees with swift, mighty blows. Unfortunately, he also killed the farmer.
Compassion without wisdom can cause great suffering. We might even say, “It is better to have a wise enemy than a foolish friend.”
Wisdom and compassion must walk together. Having one without the other is like walking with one foot. You may hop a few times, but eventually you will walk very well - slowly and elegantly, step by step.

(from “Step by Step” by Maha Ghosananda)
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 _()_

User avatar
Annapurna
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:11 pm

PeterB wrote:
The moral is. when confronted with the suffering of others, particularly their mental suffering, we need to know what is likely to help. and what might make things worse..


And who is THAT far...
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Me as much as anyone Anna.

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 3824
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Aloka » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:09 pm

I think Chogyam Trungpa called it 'idiot compassion', Peter.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:13 pm

He did.

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16348
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:52 pm

PeterB wrote::roll: :roll: :roll: Is it possible to conceive of a point being missed so utterly ?

Unfortunately, yes.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

User avatar
octathlon
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:06 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: USA

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby octathlon » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:00 pm

Hanzze wrote:...
Wisdom and compassion must walk together. Having one without the other is like walking with one foot. You may hop a few times, but eventually you will walk very well - slowly and elegantly, step by step.

All of those stories were about compassion without wisdom. Why weren't there any about wisdom without compassion?

If you have wisdom do you automatically have compassion?

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 7801
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby cooran » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:25 pm

It is not automatic. You can have one without the other - with unfortunate results.

''Some religions believe that compassion or love (the two are very similar) is the most important spiritual quality but they fail to develop any wisdom. The result is that you end up being a good-hearted fool, a very kind person but with little or no understanding. Other systems of thought, like science, believe that wisdom can best be developed when all emotions, including compassion, are kept out of the way. The outcome of this is that science has tended to become preoccupied with results and has forgotten that science is to serve man not to control and dominate him.''
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda07.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

User avatar
octathlon
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:06 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: USA

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby octathlon » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:35 pm

cooran wrote:It is not automatic. You can have one without the other - with unfortunate results.

''Some religions believe that compassion or love (the two are very similar) is the most important spiritual quality but they fail to develop any wisdom. The result is that you end up being a good-hearted fool, a very kind person but with little or no understanding. Other systems of thought, like science, believe that wisdom can best be developed when all emotions, including compassion, are kept out of the way. The outcome of this is that science has tended to become preoccupied with results and has forgotten that science is to serve man not to control and dominate him.''
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda07.htm

with metta
Chris

But I meant wisdom as in pañña...

Mawkish1983
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Essex, UK

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:08 am

I object to the comments about science.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14812
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:17 am

Greetings,

Mawkish1983 wrote:I object to the comments about science.

Yes, I do feel that well meaning bhikkhus often put their foots in the mouths when they try each to explain the commonalities or differences between Dhamma and science.

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)

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16348
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:22 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I object to the comments about science.

Yes, they are rather silly.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

User avatar
octathlon
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:06 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: USA

Re: The compassionate monkey

Postby octathlon » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:37 am

I think the answer to my question is yes.


Return to “Open Dhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Coyote, Spiny Norman and 12 guests