Friday, October 17, 2008

anicca, dukkha, karuna

Just as all things end, so too does suffering. Without this important understanding, compassion will quickly wither and die. And so today I came to realize the wisdom conveyed in Palden Gyatso's words when he connected several key ideas: "When we are able to perceive all things as impermanent, then we can have compassion." Enemies become friends, friends may become enemies, nothing stays the same, everything is transient. Even the worst situations change, and that allows me to feel compassion for them. If they did not, I could not have compassion for them, it would be intolerable.

Few people love stress, disease, or suffering, yet alone willingly welcome any of these into their lives. Compassion, the genuine desire to remove harm and suffering from others, seems to be the most rational response when confronted with these undesireable facets of life.

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