What is compassion?

  • What is compassion?

    Posted by JimP on March 11, 2019 at 12:32 am

    hi everyone, I’m jim and I’m struggling within myself;

    i attend dharma stream, where the practice is similar to tong leng, with some emphasis on expressions of love, concern, gratitude

    i also practice the concise ngondro, where the expression of love seems to  be restricted to four mind changing

    i admit also I been slacking on my meditation path level one practice, hardly can find time to practice after spending an hour daily on ngondro

    Any advice on how to reconcile this predicament? Am I not ready for ngondro?

    Separately I also struggle to reconcile how everything is cause and effect, and how I should be humane and loving others; if other beings are transient, then how do we properly love them? Human love seems to be providing for transient needs, yet it’s difficult to teach dharma as I’m not qualified?

    sorry Long rant, very torn inside sometimes; grateful for advices given :s


    tsunmajamyangdonma replied 4 years, 11 months ago 5 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • brucecowen

    March 11, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Dear JimP,

    I’m 77 years old now.  I started the Dharma in 1968.  Compassion is a natural part of the mind.  Just keep doing the practice.  It will come.


    • monlopfer

      March 11, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Great advice, Bruce. Thank you!

  • matthewzalichin

    March 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Jim,

    As Bruce said, we do go through ups and downs as we practice over the years, and it’s important to keep going.  However, we are each a bit different and people who know me from the ngondro forum know I much prefer to talk over these situations one-to-one rather than post some general advice to whoever might happen to see it that day.  My personal phone number at Gomde New York (New York time) is 774-232-0883, and I’m generally free today March 11.  Tomorrow is busier for me, but you could email me at mzalichin@gmail.com if you want to set up a time.

    best, matthew


    • JimP

      March 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Bruce and Matthew!

      i can’t meet u guys thou, I’m half way around the world at sunny singapore

  • tsunmajamyangdonma

    March 12, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Your questions crack open my heart…..

    Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche used to tell a story which helped me a great deal when I reflected on it over many years…..and Bruce is right the blossoming of compassion in ones heart takes time, and faith…not just for others but for oneself as well….be kind to yourself…don’t push the river….trust in your guru allow the practices to soften your heart and compassion will blossom ….let go of any striving or goals, try to experience the practice moment to moment…right here, right now within your being…

    Emptiness and transience… so difficult to grasp this little story which he shared with me which helped me so much  I wish to share with you..

    may it be a beneift to you as well dear one…

    Everyday a monk walked by a particular spot near the Great Maha Stupa.  In the exact same place everyday was a nun, rain or shine practicing intensely with devotion.  for some reason she stood out in his mind and he started to pay a bit more attention to her and her practice, sometimes even making offerings to her….her behaviour he noticed over time was a bit peculiar, a bit  odd.  For the first half of the day she wept…It seemed that she wept with her whole being…so much so that Empathy arose in the young monks heart and he kept her image in his heart, what could be causing this nun to weep so, with all of her being…….Then out of concern he would pass this way again in the late afternoon,  at dusk but when he came to the usual place where she was practicing instead of tears she was laughing almost hysterically again with her full being..

    After several weeks of this the compassion that arose in his heart gave him the courage to ask her directly…are you alright, what is going on with you…Everyday I see you crying and laughing…such extremes…..please share with me your experience, what is the cause of this behaviour.

    She answered him tears streaming down her face: sentient beings are suffering in Samsara, I see them suffer so, it brings me great sadness to see them suffer and I wish to free all of them from this suffering, but the suffering is vast and I am just a simple nun what can I do so I weep, they have opened my heart….

    Then the monk asked again… I understand, this touches my heart as well especially when I see how it has touched your heart…But please tell me what of the laughing, why do you laugh as if someone told a big joke or funny story at the end of the day..

    The nun answered as I contemplate impermanence, the inevitability of death, karma, the faults of Samsara and the illusory nature of all things,  Emptiness then I realize that everything is ridiculous, that there is no being, no suffering and that the very cause of the suffering is ignorance…it is all ridiculous, a great big joke…no one really needs to suffer

    And then the next day I again am sad because they do not know….

    Be well, I hope this helps a little, and that you feel you can come here and ask and connect,

    Tsunma Jamyang




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