Buddhist Compassion, Claire Albus

Compassion is the ability to be empathic and
to really understand in your heart what the person in front of you is going through. Compassion is something really active, it’s
not pity, pity where you feel sad and you don’t know what to do for the other person. We try to awaken in the person the fighting
spirit so that he can say “Okay, I will struggle to solve my problem,” to say “Okay, I will
do my best, I will not be defeated.” When I started to practice this Buddhism I
was really changing many things in my life and many sufferings were coming up and I was
really encouraged by a young woman who was really really understanding. I really felt her heart and the way she encouraged
me. And I really like her sense of humor. I think it was the most encouraging aspect
because in Buddhism we say that compassion is relieving suffering and giving joy and when she had so much humor with me and trying to find the positive aspect in my negative
situation it was really really encouraging for me. Compassion is not always innate so sometimes
it’s difficult to think of to think of the others first we prefer to think of ourselves. So, in Buddhism when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, in fact, we manifest, we reveal our Buddha nature and one of the characteristics of the
Buddha nature is compassion. When I manifest my compassion through my Buddha
nature it’s really like, you really feel in your heart what the person is feeling and
you want to encourage her to really overcome her difficulties, really to help her to help
herself. In my activities in the SGI I’m really often
in contact with many Buddhist friends who are facing difficulties, and we are all in
fact overcoming obstacles, and since we are chanting and we are all sharing our struggles
and during meetings or personal encounters I can really all the time try, I really force
myself to try to understand the person in front of me and I really feel that I’m training
my compassion during my Buddhist activities. When you feel understood it can give you really
a lot of strength to go on.

Jerry Heath

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