Thích Nhất Hạnh: Cultivating Compassion

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Drawing courtesy of Michael Volpicelli from Masterwork Artistry

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument.

That is my experience.

No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh- Peace is Every Step 

Compassion is a Verb 

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Compassion isn’t something you have, it’s something you do. It’s a practice that enables you to shift your perceptive to see and experience life in a very different way than most of us are accustomed to. If you are able to view life from a compassionate place within, then you detach from your ego and its need to always be right. The ego dissolves and you work from your heart instead.  In doing this, you become more emotionally mature and you are free from yourself and your need to be validated. This in turn helps free you from suffering.

Buddhist Prayer

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Freedom From Suffering

May all beings everywhere plagued
with sufferings of body and mind
quickly be freed from their illnesses.

May those frightened cease to be afraid,
and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power,
and may people think of befriending
one another.

May those who find themselves in trackless,
fearful wilderness–
the children, the aged, the unprotected–
be guarded by beneficent celestials,
and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.

Buddha

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