Developing Compassion

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  • Ryan379
    Member
    • Oct 2015
    • 64

    Developing Compassion

    Hi everyone,

    Our core practice is Shikantaza Zazen, everything else is periphery. As a periphery practice, how do we go about developing compassion, since compassion is such an important part of the Buddhist path?

    My thoughts are whether developing compassion through metta practices or trying purposefully to interact with other in a more loving and compassionate way are beneficial or whether we should allow compassion to arise naturally from the softening of self-other boundaries.

    Is it denying one's nature by trying to make one more compassionate than one is at the time?

    Sorry, I've not been able to word this very well

    Gassho and Metta

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...
  • Mp

    #2
    Originally posted by Ryan379
    My thoughts are whether developing compassion through metta practices or trying purposefully to interact with other in a more loving and compassionate way are beneficial or whether we should allow compassion to arise naturally from the softening of self-other boundaries.
    Hello Ryan,

    You got it .... engaging with the suffering (people, animals, the planet, etc) with an open heart and mind helps develop compassion. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

    Comment

    • Jishin
      Member
      • Oct 2012
      • 4819

      #3
      Originally posted by Ryan379

      Our core practice is Shikantaza Zazen, everything else is periphery.
      Nothing is periphery in Shikantaza.

      Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

      Comment

      • Risho
        Member
        • May 2010
        • 3179

        #4
        hahhaahh that's what I was thinking Jishin.

        Gassho,

        Risho
        -sattoday
        Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

        Comment

        • Kyonin
          Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
          • Oct 2010
          • 6739

          #5
          Hi Ryan,

          We sit zazen, but we also practice the Metta Verses in order to develop compassion and loving kindness in our hearts.

          What do you mean with "periphery"? Everything is whole and complete, part of the same

          Gassho,

          Kyonin
          #SatToday
          Hondō Kyōnin
          奔道 協忍

          Comment

          • Ryan379
            Member
            • Oct 2015
            • 64

            #6
            Thank you everyone

            Perhaps periphery was the wrong word

            I meant that metta practices etc were an adjunct to zazen, something that we practice alongside zazen as part of our whole and complete practice, another string in a whole and complete instrument

            Gassho & Metta

            Ryan

            Sat Today
            Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              Originally posted by Ryan379
              I meant that metta practices etc were an adjunct to zazen
              Hi Ryan,

              I think this is a wonderful start. Metta practice really can transform a person's heart and aid in cultivating compassion and empathy.

              Sometimes when I am out and about in the community and I see someone who is hurting or angry I whisper to myself, with the intention my heart for that person, "I wish you peace, I wish you happiness". I know it has worked many times in changing my reaction to that person who is suffering ... so a win win all around. =)

              Gassho
              Shingen

              #sattoday

              Comment

              • Myosha
                Member
                • Mar 2013
                • 2974

                #8
                Hello,

                Distinction is good fun.

                Metta to all.


                Gassho
                Myosha sat today
                "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                Comment

                • Kyotai

                  #9
                  Ryan,

                  My thoughts only on this one.

                  Sit zazen...sincerely. Every day. That is how one develops compassion.

                  Gassho, Kyotai
                  Sat today

                  Comment

                  • Jakuden
                    Member
                    • Jun 2015
                    • 6142

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ryan379
                    Thank you everyone

                    Perhaps periphery was the wrong word

                    I meant that metta practices etc were an adjunct to zazen, something that we practice alongside zazen as part of our whole and complete practice, another string in a whole and complete instrument

                    Gassho & Metta

                    Ryan


                    Sat Today
                    Thanks for asking Ryan, I sometimes ponder the same thing. I think "conscious intention" does help, and intentionally following the precepts is a good guideline to walk the desired path toward compassion. And then, of course sitting helps us to see whether we are following our egotistic whims, or acting in accordance with our essential oneness... at least now when I have those cranky impatient times, sitting has helped me be aware of them, set the crankiness aside and act compassionately instead.

                    Gassho,
                    Jakuden/Sierra
                    SatToday

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39065

                      #11
                      Hi,

                      I would say that Compassion is not adjunct or peripheral to Zazen in any way. On the cushion, Zazen is Compassion as our heart opens to all the Sentient Beings and the whole universe. Off the cushion, every act of Compassion is just Zazen.

                      As Bodhisattvas, we Vow to help all the Sentient Beings be free, and also to act gently and lovingly in keeping with the Precepts. The Precepts are front and center in our Practice, not secondary in any way. Even when we Chant Metta and, most importantly, live and behave toward others with "Loving Kindness" in our hearts, there is nothing else but Metta. Metta is at the center always.

                      I think that we might say that Compassion "arises from Zazen naturally" much as a seed arises from the soil. Still, that is not enough without daily watering and nurturing. Every time in your heart you replace a selfish or angry thought with one of giving and love, you are watering the seeds of Compassion ("Nurturing Seeds" is also a recommended Daily Practice around here ...

                      Hi, Sometimes the simplest of practices can be most effective. The following is based on teachings by Thich Nhat Hahn as well as many others. It's roots stretch back to the very origins of Buddhism. It is a simple and common sense approach to changing how we think and feel ... realizing that our experience of life is always


                      as is Metta ...

                      http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Metta-PRACTICE )

                      So, live by the Precepts, recite and live by Metta, nurture Compassionate seeds, act with all the Bodhisattva Vows and Virtues of Charity and Caring for our fellow Sentient Beings ... and all is Zazen right at the center, without inside or outside.

                      Gassho, J

                      SatToday
                      Last edited by Jundo; 01-16-2016, 11:21 AM.
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Ryan379
                        Member
                        • Oct 2015
                        • 64

                        #12
                        Thank you Jundo and everyone

                        Gassho & Metta

                        Ryan

                        Sat Today
                        Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

                        Comment

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