10 May 2016

Alan talks today about the second of the four immeasurables, compassion. Like loving kindness, compassion is an aspiration and requires conative intelligence. It is the wish for sentient beings to be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. As such, we can ask ourselves how we’ve been doing so far at eliminating our own suffering? How is it working out for us?

Alan highlights two points. The first point is that, as Buddhaghosa states in the Visuddhimagga, the proximate cause for compassion is seeing a situation where beings are suffering and they are unable to help themselves, and the second point is that in order to have compassion one must also see that the alleviation of suffering is possible. One must know the causes of suffering and have a vision of the possibility of being free of suffering. In this way, refuge and renunciation might come as natural and intelligent expressions of compassion for oneself. As always, we come back to the theme of path; if there is a path, compassion is possible.

The meditation is cultivating compassion for oneself.

The meditation starts at 34:10

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