Ven. Thubten Chodron on compassion
- "It's just real interesting to reflect on and recognize where in our
attempt to be happy [unskillfully] we actually create the cause for
our own unhappiness. And when we can see that real clearly in our own
life - that we really want to be happy, but because of our own
ignorance, because of our own self-cherishing [as opposed to
cherishing other beings as much as ourselves] - we often basically
just create the cause for more confusion now and in the future.
"When we can really see that in our own life and make real clear
examples of it, then we can begin to have compassion for ourselves.
Because we really do realize that we wish ourselves well, but it's
because of this mind that's just habituated with self-grasping and
self-cherishing that we keep on doing counterproductive things. So we
begin to develop some real genuine compassion for ourselves and
patience with ourselves. And from that then we can spread that to
others, and we can realize that other beings, too, want happiness,
but they're stuck with the same ignorance and self-cherishing that we
are. They're making more and more difficulties form themselves, too,
in spite of their wish to be happy. That can evoke a feeling of
tolerance and compassion for others. And that becomes a . . . deeper
kind of compassion, of acceptance, of what we are and what others
are. It's not just painting on some kind of plastic acceptance."
~ Ven. Thubten Chodron, Cultivating Bodhicitta through Equalizing and
Exchanging Self and Others - An Overview. DFF, Seattle. 26 Jul 93,
May this be of benefit.