Thursday, January 30, 2014

Compassion ~ Karmapa and Karen Armstrong

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa said,
"The absence of compassion is the greatest danger facing human beings today."  (Posted on Facebook on January 29, 2014.)
Karen Armstrong, who wrote the 2010 book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, would probably agree with that.  I had never heard of Karmapa until yesterday, but I like what he says, including this:
"Being a Buddhist involves three things — giving up harming others, benefiting them, and taming one’s own mind.  If you possess these three, you are a Buddhist."  (Posted on Facebook on July 1, 2013.)
How would you define compassion?  I think it involves these three things he named:  not harming others, doing what's good for others or will benefit them, and taming my own mind so that I learn to "do unto others as I would want them to do unto me."  And I think it takes practice.  That's why I'm studying Armstrong's book with friends, so I get in the habit of right thinking about myself and others.  Let me know if you'd like to discuss the book with me.

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