Author Topic: Help with practicing compassion  (Read 3297 times)

Offline ZenFred

  • Member
  • Posts: 307
    • View Profile
Help with practicing compassion
« on: January 28, 2014, 06:09:50 am »
Anyone have some good resources for developing compassion, particularly as part of practice? I plan to read some of HH The Dalai Lama, since he is sort of an expert on the subject. But anything else you would recommend?

As many of you know and have graciously put up with, I tend to over-think and obsess to the point of worry at times over my Zen practice. Which is very un-zen!!

 I had an insight this morning though. Seligman, the founder of positive psychology famously said that if you were experiencing a mental breakdown, the best thing you could do is go volunteer and help someone else with their troubles, thus helping remove the focus from your own. I am hoping I can apply the same principle to my Zen practice.

"May I be free from enmity, may I be loving, grateful, and kind."

Thoughts?

Gassho (and Metta), Fred


Offline Dairy Lama

  • Member
  • Posts: 5324
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 08:24:09 am »
Anyone have some good resources for developing compassion, particularly as part of practice?

I'd suggest checking out metta bhavana and tonglen, both of which are means of developing compassion.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline hanuman38

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
  • om tare tuttare ture soha
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 01:35:23 pm »
I've been struggling with it myself.  Recitation of Avalokiteshvara's mantra helps me, and my tradition has a very good Avalokiteshvara sadhana as well.  I haven't practiced tonglen much yet, but I hear good things about it.  Two good books on lojong (training the mind), tonglen and developing compassion in general that I'd recommend:

* Start Where You Are, by Pema Chodron
* Universal Compassion, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

And there are quite a few guided metta meditations online-- like:
Guided Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation with Sharon Salzberg

Offline Dharmakara

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4228
  • Deceased
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 01:47:50 pm »
Tonglen continues to be one of my favorite practices from the Tibetan tradition --- here's a short intro by Thrangu Rinpoche entitled "Taking and Sending:

http://quietmountain.org/links/teachings/tonglen.htm

There's also this nice video of Pema Chodron teaching the basics:




Offline ZenFred

  • Member
  • Posts: 307
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 03:51:36 pm »
Very cool links, thanks! Definitely helpful

Offline msmiitz19

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 01:52:21 pm »
"Cultivating Loving Kindness" by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is very good.

Offline angie

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2016, 10:19:41 pm »
hi there,

I recently heard a buddhist nun remind us that our practice is our life, it is not seperate. Therefore, do not be overwhelmes by your zen practice but instead maybe try applying the principles more directly to daily life yyou are sure to see the benefits for yourself and the people around you.


Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4545
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 07:01:32 am »
Quote
Zenfred:  ""May I be free from enmity, may I be loving, grateful, and kind."

Thoughts?"

Hi, Fred.

I struggle with enmity as well.

What I have learned to do, imperfectly for certain, is to reflect upon the delusion of self.  "Who is this being that I beleive has been insulted or wronged."  "Where is he?"

The mantra I have adopted is:  "Dwell here in peace in this house of emptiness.".......no I,my, me, or mine to ever be offended, harmed, belittled, or experience any form of loss, or gain for that matter.   :namaste:   :hug:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

  • Enlightenment through insight
  • Member
  • Posts: 583
  • Dancing at the Still Point describes my meditation
    • View Profile
    • Enlightenment for Grown Ups
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2016, 02:56:50 am »
Tonglen is a very uplifting meditation. I visualize breathing in dark smoke, the suffering of others, then breathe it out as white light, compassion and metta. The light gradually spreads through the room, then out to the wider world, eventually encompassing everything.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline francis

  • Member
  • Posts: 1453
    • View Profile
Re: Help with practicing compassion
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2016, 08:54:21 am »

"May I be free from enmity, may I be loving, grateful, and kind."

Thoughts?


Hi ZenFred,

I have a few thoughts.

Your words "May I be free from enmity, may I be loving, grateful, and kind" remind me of the Metta Bhavana or Loving Kindness meditation, “May all beings be well. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free of suffering.”

The purpose of the meditation is to generate metta and compassion, from the heart. This is not always easy for some people, me included.

There are five stages to the practice. We generate metta for ourselves, a good friend, a neutral person, an enemy and for all beings.

Ajahn Brahm describes the process of generating metta like lighting a fire, in his guide to Loving-Kindness Meditation.

There are many variations:

Loving-Kindness Meditation
An outline of the Metta Bhavana.
Loving-Kindness Meditation.
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal