monks, a disciple dwells pervading one
direction with his heart filled with
compassion, likewise the second, the
third, and the fourth directions; so
above, below and around; he dwells pervading
the entire world every-where and equally
with his heart filled with compassion,
abundant, grown great, measureless, free
from enmity, and free from distress.Buddha
On the path of "the liberation of the heart which
is love," you have studied and practiced the quality
of lovingkindness (metta). In this lesson you will explore the teachings and
practices of compassion (karuna).
In many Buddhist
traditions, the teachings are said to have
two wings, like
the wings of a bird: wisdom and
Wisdom — clearly
seeing or understanding interconnectedness
of everything — cultivates compassion,
which is a powerful force that can transform
our own lives and the loves of others.
trembling of the heart
Compassion, the second
of the brahma-viharas, is the literal translation of
the word karuna from Pali.
What do you think of when
you here the word compassion? What does
it mean to you to be compassionate?
The feeling we call compassion is often misunderstood.
I translate compassion
as a state of being terribly
overcome by somebody's
sorrow, like having a stake
through your heart and
having the burden of somebody's
pain burdening you as well.
Does this resemble
your notion of compassion—overwhelming
one thing to have one's heart engaged,
and another to have it overwhelmed or broken.
Here lies our aversion to suffering. Ram
Dass and Paul Gorman
It is easy to understand how the meaning of compassion
could be taken to include this state of being overcome
by the suffering of another. For if we feel that our
hearts will break, that we will be overwhelmed, that
bear what is going on, we find it difficult to open
to pain. Yet that opening s the basis of compassion.
is a verb. Thich Nhat Hanh
When it is translated
literally from the Pali and Sanskrit, the word karuna
can be described as "the trembling or quivering of
heart in response to seeing pain or suffering.”