Lesson
8

Extending Compassionate Action

4 of 6

Extending through teaching

There is a relationship between compassionate action, teaching, and other forms of expression. According to one sutra, a bodhisattva "knows exactly who is to be educated, how, and by what means, whether by the bodhisattva's teaching, physical appearance, practices, or bearing."

What do you have to offer to educate others? Do you teach now? How can you extend yourself into the world more skillfully as a teacher?

Authentic teaching can take place in any walk of life (or path of the Wheel): to be a loving parent is a kind of teaching, to work harmoniously with others is a kind of teaching, to live in a balanced ecological relationship with one's surroundings is a kind of teaching, and so on.

How does my livelihood teach the Buddha's experience?

Robert Aitken

We often assume that insight is one thing, and the expression of insight is something else. However, the two—call them wisdom and compassion, or practice and engagement—are ultimately inseparable. This is a basic tenet of engaged Buddhism.

Stephen Batchelor asserts:

Awakening is only complete—in the same way that a work of art is only complete—when it finds an expression, a form, that translates one's experience in a way that makes it accessible to others. That again is the balance between wisdom and compassion. The creative process of expressing the Dharma is not just a question of duplicating in words something etched somewhere in the privacy of my soul. The living process of understanding is formed through the encounter with another person, with the world.