Thich Nhat Hanh on Lovingkindness (Maitri) and Compassion
- "The Buddha said, the practice of Maitri, or loving-kindness brings
us beauty, beauty that makes life meaningful. He also said that if
you practice Karuna or compassion, what you feel is infinite space.
Karuna is the kind of energy that helps you to suffer less, that
helps people around you to suffer less. Karuna is the kind of energy
that helps to transform the suffering in us. Suffering is like the
compost, the garbage. And love is like the flower. While the compost
or the garbage, is not beautiful, love and the flower are beautiful.
The role of suffering and the role of compost are clear. If we know
how to make use of suffering, if we know how to make use of the
compost, we can bring about the flower and beauty. Understanding the
suffering of other people around us and understanding our own
suffering is very crucial. Because only by understanding suffering
can we know how to transform the suffering into love. When beauty is
there, when love is there, when compassion is there, you begin to
feel a lot of space inside and around you. When we speak of love,
compassion, we tend to believe that the person, who profits from that
love, and from that compassion, is another person. We tend to forget
that right in the moment when love is born in our heart, compassion
is also born in our heart. We are the first person to benefit from
it. Because love and compassion, when they are born immediately they
bring beauty and happiness right away to us."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, lecture on "Love"
May this be of benefit.