82 Prince or Beggar? Who You Really Are… & Cultivating Great Compassion

16 May 2016

The “four immeasurables” we meditated on last week are common to many Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions. They can be cultivated while striving for individual liberation. Today, however, we cross the “continental divide” - as Alan calls it - to the “four greats”. Starting with the great compassion, Maha Karuna. It is sometimes referred to as “unbearable compassion”, as even an arya bodhisattva, overcome by compassion, can burst into tears. Especially in the 21st century, in face of so much suffering, so much inequality in the world, one may easily feel disempowered - says Alan. One may therefore wish to become rich, powerful and famous in order to be able to do something to alleviate this suffering. Hence one looks outside for greater wealth, power and prestige - and this attitude is encouraged by the prevailing materialistic worldview. So what can we do to move from immeasurable compassion to great compassion? From the wish and aspiration that all sentient beings be free from suffering and its causes to an actual pledge, a resolution to make this happen? The only way we can do it is from the perspective of rigpa, of our Buddha nature. To make this possible we need to adopt pure vision, to realise our Buddha nature. To illustrate this theme, Alan reads the famous parable of a prince who became a beggar and forgot about his royal origin (the parable is found in Karma Chagme’s “Naked Awareness”, chapter 4), followed by Karma Chagme’s commentary. “Sometimes a story is worth a thousand words of philosophy” - concludes Alan.

The meditation is on the cultivation of Great Compassion

Basta! If you are tired of being a sentient being, just dissolve it, shatter it, release it - says Alan after the meditation. You don’t have to wait three countless eons. There is a faster way. “There is no way to enlightenment, enlightenment is the way”.

The meditation starts at 25:30

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