The Deeper Meaning Of Compassion

Compassion is a word that can feel a bit overused these days. Everyone seems to remind us to be compassionate with ourselves and others. But there is immense worth to the concept and the deeper meaning behind it.

 

I’ve been reading a classic in the great variety of Buddhist books, Chogyam Trungpa’s “Spiritual Materialism”. Trungpa was one of the first Tibetan lamas to bring the dharma to the West, and his insights are of a timeless validity.

 

“Compassion is not feeling sorry for someone”, he writes. “It is basic warmth.” This warmth is to be extended to oneself first with the help of meditation practice. “Meditation is a delightful and spontaneous thing to do. It is the continual act of making friends with yourself.”

 

By GERTI SCHOEN, MA, LP