My comments are embedded below:
From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2010 10:37 AM
Subject: [Zen] Re: Compassion
"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."
[Bill!] Compassion is indeed a 'mental conception' - which is just another
name for 'illusion'.
With zen practice we can recognize these illusions as illusions and loose
our attachment to them; so in practice what you call 'compassion' reverts to
where it's always been, in our first and only nature - our Buddha Nature or
Original Face; not our 'second nature'.
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.
[Bill!] 'Cultivation' is not a bad metaphor for 'liberation'. There is
indeed a need to get rid of the 'weeds' (illusions and attachments to
illusions), but it breaks down a little since there is nothing to 'plant' as
you suggest. The field is plenty bountiful as it is without trying to add
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.com> , "ED"
> 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
> 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.
> --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.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
> > ...Bill!
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