25 Aug 2015

Cultivating compassion through meditation is not the only way. Alan introduces a way to remove the obstacles and simply unveil the well spring of compassion within, allowing it to manifest. He points to two expressions common in English which do not translate into Tibetan: guilt and forgiveness of oneself or others. Although these have meaning in English, he explains how they are rooted in the delusion of fusing the mental affliction, the action that comes from it and the person ensnared by the delusion into one alloy.

He reminds us that the Buddha is the great healer then asks us to imagine a doctor working with patients suffering from horrible illnesses. They look bad and smell terrible but does the doctor say “come in, I forgive you”? If he accidentally infects himself, does he feel guilty? It’s meaningless. Like this, all the things people feel guilty about and try to forgive are from ignorance. If we focus at the root we see it all comes from ignorance and then delusion. There is no guilt or forgiveness. Compassion is all that remains when we understand the true causes of suffering and happiness.

We don’t find it so hard to feel compassion when we see people suffering. But when we see people engaging in actions which give rise to suffering; of greed, hatred, cruelty “may you be free”. We attend to sentient beings like us, who out of ignorance and delusion, perpetuate the causes of our suffering.

Meditation on compassion

Meditation starts at 18:03.


Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here

The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store.

Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

Download (MP3 / 39 MB)

Transcript

This lecture does not have a text transcript. Please contact us if you’d like to volunteer to assist our transcription team.

Discussion

Ask questions about this lecture on the Buddhism Stack Exchange or the Students of Alan Wallace Facebook Group. Please include this lecture’s URL when you post.