Compassion cannot be cultivated; it is a result of diminishing fears within you. Compassion arises when fear diminishes, fear diminishes when love arises. Love arises when you know who you truly are: nothing and yet everything. Sharing a lovely zen story about compassion and wishing you a compassionate weekend.
Once a young disciple came to his master and asked him, “Master, What is Compassion?”
Master took him to the window and asked him to look at the beggar sitting at the corner of the street. While looking at him for some time they saw that an old lady passed by and gave him a gold coin, a merchant passed by and gave him five gold coins and a boy who passed by that beggar gave him a flower. Now master questioned disciple, “Which one of all these do you think felt most compassion for beggar?”
Young disciple replied, “Merchant did..”
Master smiled and explained – You see that old lady passed by was infuriated by his poverty so she gave him a gold coin. Old lady acted out of pity toward that beggar. After that we saw a merchant noticed a small group of people who were talking about him so he gave 5 gold coins to beggar and left quickly. Merchant acted out of pride. He wanted to show off his wealth to those people and show that he has big heart and like to help others.
Later we saw a boy who had collected some flowers in his hands for his mother and when he passed by that beggar he smiled at him and gave him a flower. That little boy is the one who acted out of compassion.
Master continued and explained – Compassion is far greater and nobler than pity. Pity has its roots in fear. When fear touches someone’s pain it becomes pity. But when love touches someone’s pain it becomes compassion.
So to understand compassion we should understand that all beings are same and suffer in similar way. We should honor all who suffer and know that we are neither separate nor superior to anyone.