"I think that Jesus and Buddha advocated the development of compassion toward 
all, which starts as a mental conception, but with practice can become second 
nature, we are told."
This is so, but when you say "Do what comes naturally, but do not harm any 
sentient being," this is not enough.  What comes naturally is not necessarily 
compassion, and not hurting other beings is a mere facet of compassion.  
Liberation and compassion are not the same.  Liberation is not the cause of 
compassion, but the cause of personal liberation from suffering.  Compassion 
necessary to liberate other living beings must take a form.  Much like a doctor 
who tries to heal others with limited tools has limited healing abilities, so 
too a liberated mind may believe what arises naturally through them is 
compassion, but it too is limited.  Compassion does not come naturally and is 
not a byproduct of personal liberation, but the product of cultivation.   If a 
person wants to grow a field of tomatoes, even a liberated person, they must 
plant tomatoes seeds and nurture them through all phases of growth until 
harvest, so to is compassion a seed, growth and a harvest.   The only way for 
the world to enjoy the harvest of great compassion is for a liberated person to 
plant and nurture compassion.  It is because compassion is not the natural 
byproduct of liberation that Buddha taught methods of personal liberation and 
methods of increasing compassion.  Not all liberated beings are compassionate, 
and not all compassionate beings are liberated.


--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "ED" <seacrofter...@...> wrote:
>
> 
> 
> Excellent point!
> 
> Do what comes naturally, but do not harm any sentient being.
> 
> Most humans feel a natural compassion for their own families, friends,
> kinsfolk and persons of the same race, tribal, ethnic, religious,
> national or cultural group.
> 
> Some humans feel a natural bonding toward dogs or cats or other small
> mammals.
> 
> I think that Jesus and Buddha advocated the development of compassion
> toward all, which starts as a mental conception, but with practice can
> become second nature, we are told.
> 
> --ED
> 
> 
> 
> --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Bill!" <BillSmart@> wrote:
> >
> > Thinking of your own 'self' is okay as long as you are not attached to
> your self. Thinking of others in that same way is okay because they are
> the same as your self. It's okay to think of your right hand and okay to
> think of your left hand.
> >
> > The point for this thread is that this thinking of, and perhaps acting
> for yourself or others is spontenous and not a result of any hope for
> reward or fear of punishment - like satisfying an internal goal or
> external rule to be compassionate. A third party might call it
> compassion, but for you it is just putting one foot in front of the
> other.
> >
> > ...Bill!
>




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