The Five-Minute Buddhist Books

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Compassion

Compassion
This is not so much a question as it is an insightful comment by a reader. This was in response to the “So You Want To Be a Buddhist” post from a while back.

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A Reader recently Wrote:
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I was once fortunate enough to have a very unintentional and random encounter with the Dalai Lama. He pretty much stepped out of a vehicle in front of me at a Tibetan festival in DC some years back. He allowed me a very intimate moment with him, and I sort of asked him the question you posed here with my one question. He told me, “just learn compassion.”

I have faltered many times. I have struggled to make the genuine step from cognition of the path to actually walking it. As I have improved, I did find that focusing my practice on compassion for all beings fosters genuine but subtle transformation. Remember, compassion for all beings includes self. Don’t beat yourself up so much.

Fundamental change (and this is what this for so many of us) is a long walk. This is not religious magic, and the sooner you give up the salvation mindset the better. Buckle in and stay put. Ignore counting the mile markers and let go of this pressure that is only making this harder for you.

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My Response:
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Compassion is big, and everything you say there is absolutely true. I especially like your phras, “This is not religious magic,”and that idea leads directly into tomorrow’s reader letter.

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