My Compassion makes me Hate

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My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:17 pm

Greetings


I seem to have a problem with compassion in a sense that when i hear a story about someone being raped, killed or tortured in some way i feel compassion for the victim and then begin to really hate the person who inflicted it

Ive tried directing compassion for the person who is doing the raping etc but i just cant get past hating them


In a sense my compassion for the victim has lead me to hate the perpetrator

Does anyone have any helpful advice on how to sort this out?

Thanks in advance

metta
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:54 pm

Instead of contemplating just the present suffering of the victim, contemplate the future suffering of the assailant. The Evil Doer Destroys Himself

Having raped, beaten, robbed, or killed others, he will be reborn in hell. When the assailant eventually gains human rebirth again, he or she will be raped, beaten, robbed, or killed by others; and very probably fall back into hell again for a few more aeons.
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby Guy » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:13 pm

hello,

Try Metta meditation. I personally like Ajahn Brahm's method of Metta meditation, focusing first on people we can easily cultivate Metta towards and gradually expanding it to include everyone, which is roughly as follows:-

1. Imagine in as much detail as possible, a small, helpless, emaciated creature. (maybe a dog or cat, whatever it is that you like) Preferably this creature is purely imaginary and doesn't represent a real being.
2. Imagine that you are maintaining eye-contact with this kitten or puppy or whatever it is that you have chosen and are sending it all of your Metta. At this stage you can think "Dear kitten (etc), I know that you have had a difficult life, this short time you have been alive all you have known is neglect, betrayal, cold, hunger and thirst. I will look after you, I will care for you, you are safe with me."
3. Slowly reach out and pick up this being and hold it to your chest to keep it warm until you feel the warm tingly physical sensations around your chest which is the Metta that you have cultivated.
4. Now focus on a real person, someone who you are close to, someone who you have a good relationship with.
5. Send them some of the Metta that you have cultivated.
6. Focus on a neutral person, someone like a storeperson or a neighbour, who you see often but have neither positive nor negative feelings towards.
7. Send them some of the Metta that you have cultivated.
8. Focus on an "enemy", in your case it might be a rapist or murderer you have heard about in the news.
9. Send them some of the Metta that you have cultivated.
10. Send Metta to your whole suburb, then your city, then your state, your country until you can imagine the whole world in a glowing ball of Metta.
11. Lastly, bring some of it back to your own heart for later use.

I hope this helps

With Metta,

Guy
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1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:55 pm

Greetings Craig,

Since in reality there are "no sentient beings", only evolving nama-rupas consisting of the five aggregates, then what do we have compassion for? Evidently the answer is suffering. Compassion is feeling for suffering.

Everyone suffers, even those (or particularly those?) who commit such terrible acts. When you feel this hate you feel towards them, it's an unpleasant feeling, yes? It's a form of suffering. But your hate isn't strong enough to make you want to go and rape or murder someone, is it? Imagine how much more extreme your hatred and aversion would have to be for you to want to do that! Imagine how much suffering is involved with those mindstates embued with hatred and aversion. That hatred is suffering, and where there is suffering, there can be compassion for that suffering.

The teaching Bhikkhu Pesala refers to above is also very useful for approaching such situations with equanimity... a useful reaction since it's not going to create additional suffering over and above what already exists.

If developing metta interests you, check out the section on metta in Visuddhimagga... it's actually one of the highlights of the whole text from my perspective.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby genkaku » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:09 pm

If you know the people involved and can help them in some way, do so.

Otherwise, be extremely watchful about imagining what is good, what is bad, what is compassionate and so forth. Just watchful ... see what happens. As my mother once said, "Don't get too holy by next Thursday."

I think there is a difference between altruism and compassion. But what I think is not so much the point. What counts is what you think ... based on experience.
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby Guy » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:04 am

Hello,

Here is Ajahn Brahm's guided metta meditation (you can just right click and "Save Target As...") which was recorded on the last day of a 9-day retreat. I hope you find it useful.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby appicchato » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:...check out the section on metta in Visuddhimagga...

Hi Paul,

An online link, by any chance?... :reading:
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:55 am

Greetings bhante,

Not that I know of.

Sometimes I see the odd chapter of the Visuddhimagga online, as translated from Pali (possibly by someone related to the "Dhamma Study Group"?), but can't seem to find it (let alone the section on metta) online.

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


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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby appicchato » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:10 am

Thank you for the prompt reply Paul...I'll keep looking some more...hopefully one of these days I'll come across a copy in it's entirety...

:focus:
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:11 am

Greetings bhante,

I suspect copyright issues might make such online distribution a little prohibitive... but I agree it would be of great benefit, given how frequently it is referred to in online discussion.

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


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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby Individual » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:24 pm

clw_uk wrote:Greetings


I seem to have a problem with compassion in a sense that when i hear a story about someone being raped, killed or tortured in some way i feel compassion for the victim and then begin to really hate the person who inflicted it

Ive tried directing compassion for the person who is doing the raping etc but i just cant get past hating them


In a sense my compassion for the victim has lead me to hate the perpetrator

Does anyone have any helpful advice on how to sort this out?

Thanks in advance

metta

That's pity for the victim, not compassion. I'd suggest you not actively seek out such stories (on Nancy Grace, Jane- Velez Mitchell, any of the political pundit shows, etc.), not worry about what isn't your concern when you hear about such stories, and be mindful when you do feel hateful.

Also, remember that there is no self, so there is no "perpetrator". The criminal is a deluded mess of psycho-physical components, trying to work themselves out, the same as the rest of us. Had you been born in his very same position, you'd have likely committed similar acts.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:04 pm

I used to like to watch these two TV shows called "American Justice" and "City Confidential." The shows were stories about real-life crimes. The shows were on hour long so you got to know the whole story and the characters pretty well. About a year into my Buddhist practice, I was startled to find that I was feeling compassion for the perpetrators as well as the victims. Craig I wish I could explain exactly what it was that brought about that feeling, but it's as though it crept up out of nowhere. I noticed that the perpetrators were obviously experiencing horrible ignorance and suffering to do such things, and they were probably utterly clueless as to the future suffering that awaited them due to their actions.

Again, it's like it came out of nowhere. Maybe when you read about these stories and hear these things, when you feel that hate, you can get to know the story and the people more (on both sides)? It's easier, I think, to generate compassion when you have a more thorough sense of a person.

It's cool that you're thinking about this and noticing it.

Best wishes,
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:19 pm

Thanks for the advice, very helpful as usual :D
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:47 pm

In the Visuddhimagga each of the brahmaviharas has a "near enemy" and a "far enemy".
See:
http://www.arrowriver.ca/dhamma/divabid.html
http://www.brahmaviharas.com/

These "near enemies" are important, because they are easily mistaken for the real thing.
For example, it is easy to mistake affection or even lust for loving kindness.

In the case of compassion the "far enemy" (opposite) is cruelty.
The "near enemy" is variously translated as "pity" or "sadness".

Metta
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby cooran » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:09 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings bhante,

Not that I know of.

Sometimes I see the odd chapter of the Visuddhimagga online, as translated from Pali (possibly by someone related to the "Dhamma Study Group"?), but can't seem to find it (let alone the section on metta) online.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hello Retro, all,

As the book is copyrighted - which prevents anyone transcribing more than a morsel of it for the internet, and as it is over 900 pages long with copious footnotes, I doubt you will see a copy on the net very soon.

Much of it is in Pali here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... ddhimagga/

RobertK's site has the first 90 pages in English, here:
http://www.abhidhamma.org/visuddhimagga-1.htm

metta,
Chris
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:47 pm

Greetings Chris,

Whatever I did see got around the copyright aspect by doing a fresh translation.

I assume it's Nanamoli's translation rather than the original Pali of Buddhaghosa which is copyrighted.

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


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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby cooran » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:55 pm

Hello Retro,

This is on Robert's site (above):

The Path of Purification Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Nanamoli
Copyright Buddhist Publication Society
All rights reserved
. Note:The BPS have very generously given permission for these chapters (the first 90 pages) to be placed on this website. PLEASE support Buddhist publishers and purchase this invaluable source of wisdom.


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 ---
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby Nibbida » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:56 am

Why not have compassion toward the murderer or rapist? Buddhist compassion is unconditional for all sentient beings. A person who murders or rapes is under the influence of craving, aversion, and ignorance, probably more so than the average person.

“If we could read the secret history of
our enemies we should find in each
man's life sorrow and suffering enough
to disarm all hostility.”
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1886)

“If all my enemies were free of pain,
dissatisfaction, affliction, neurosis, paranoia,
tension, and anxiety, they would no longer
have reason to be my enemies. Once free
of the force of negativity, an enemy is just
like anybody else—a wonderful human
being.”
--Henepola Gunaratana

“If only there were evil people out there
insidiously committing evil deeds and it
was only necessary to separate them
from the rest of us and destroy them. But
the line dividing good and evil cuts
through the heart of every human being.”
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


8. Focus on an "enemy", in your case it might be a rapist or murderer you have heard about in the news.
9. Send them some of the Metta that you have cultivated.


I have learned to wholeheartedly wish metta to murderers, rapists, and the like. I reason it like this. If this person knew true, meaningful happiness, the happiness that comes from kindness and compassion, then they would no longer wish to harm others. If they had the wisdom to see that they create such unfortunate karma for themselves, they would avoid hurting others like they would avoid a plague. So I wish it for them because if it were to come true, not only would they be better off, but their victims would too. Wishing them metta is a no-lose scenario. It's a much more skillful way to deal with anger towards those who harm. Otherwise, like Buddhagosa said, it's like throwing hot coals at them and burning your own hand in the process.
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby phil » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:36 pm

A little bit of a different angle on this, but I often think that the reflection on ownership of kamma, recommended as a remedy of getting rid of resentment, is beyond me - there is always a lot of spitefulness buried not so deeply below the surface of that reflection. "He is the owner of his kamma" etc becomes "he's gonna get it good!" which is not what it should be about, that's just exercising more ill-will.a

If I understand correctly, Buddhist compassion, true compassion, cannot be accompanied by aversion or any other negative, unpleasant mental feeling, at least according to Abhidhamma. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) So I think Buddhist compassion is not as "easy" as a more conventional understanding of compassion.

Sorry if that's off topic.

Metta,

Phil
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Re: My Compassion makes me Hate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:01 pm

Greetings Phil,

I feel the same. I would get no pleasure from a "Ha! You'll get what's coming" approach.

Rather, I feel compassion (which is good) and sometimes pity for them (which is not so good).

Still working on it. Thanks for sharing.

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


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