Being open to the value of loving-kindness, one can easily develop the precious attitude of compassion because its nature is the wish to remove the suffering of all beings. Love moves you to offer them some assistance to get through and free them from misery. It weakens the structure of ego-clinging so that your true nature can break through and reach out to all sentient beings, sharing this open-hearted attitude with everyone. Of course, you can feel compassion for yourself as well, but it is primarily practiced in relation to other beings. Compassion helps create an opening or gap in your normal habit patterns and weakens ego-clinging.

You have good reason to feel compassion for others, because every being is suffering. Although their intentions are quite normal and similar to your own -- to be happy, joyous, and peaceful, their aspirations and what is actually happening are at variance. We would like to be happy, but often, if not constantly, we are facing many difficulties, misfortunes, and hardships.

Sentient beings normally act with good intentions. Even in trivial activities we are trying to achieve some joy, peace, and freedom for ourselves, either directly or indirectly. Animals are doing this as well. In running, flying, digging, and moving, by day or night, their final goal is to achieve some kind of comfort according to their understanding. In this way, the common goal of all sentient beings is the same. We have similar desires and objectives, yet we do not achieve what we want all the time. Why not? The major obstacle is ignorance.


Immeasurable Compassion