On Compassion

Here’s a guest post by Barry Briggs of Ox Herding

Recently someone new to Buddhism asked how it was that the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Quanyin, could serve as the “patron” of both vegetarians and fishermen.

There was an aggrieved tone in the person’s voice:  How could she?

I replied that true compassion does not depend on conditions.

Without hesitation, Quanyin offers unstinting compassion to vegetarians and carnivores, fishermen and farmers, and saints and murderers.

That’s because Quanyin has laid down the mind that picks and chooses based on like and dislike. She only responds to what is.

Indeed, love can only arise in response to what is. Everything else is fantasy.

These are easy words to write, but to live without dependence on conditions . . . well, that’s something else. That’s why clear-eyed direction is so important.

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