Category Archives: COMPASSION

There are two kinds of compassion: compassion mixed with clinging, and compassion mixed with prajna – best knowledge.

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“The spirit of Ubuntu* – that profound African sense that we are human beings only through the humanity of other human beings – is not a parochial phenomenon, but has added globally to our common search for a better world.”

South African anti-apartheid activist and President Nelson Mandela

*Note: Ubuntu is an ancient African concept meaning “kindness towards human beings” or “humanity to others” or “I am what I am because of who we all are”.

Talking about Zen all the time is like looking for fish tracks in a dry riverbed. Wu-Tzu



Please Call Me by My True Names

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow –even today I am still arriving.Look deeply: every second I am arriving to be a bud on a Spring branch,to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,learning to sing in my new nest,to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,to fear and to hope.The rhythm of my heart is the birth and deathof all that is alive.I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river.And I am the birdthat swoops down to swallow the mayfly.I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond.And I am the grass-snakethat silently feeds itself on the frog.I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.And I am the arms merchant,selling deadly weapons to Uganda.I am the twelve-year-old girl,refugee on a small boat,who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate.And I am the pirate,my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.I am a member of the politburo,with plenty of power in my hands.And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.My joy is like Spring, so warmit makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.My pain is like a river of tears,so vast it fills the four oceans.Please call me by my true names,so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,so I can see that my joy and pain are one.Please call me by my true names,so I can wake up,and so the door of my heart can be left open,the door of compassion.

Two should stay together when crossing a ford.

Is treasa dithis a’ dol thar àn àtha na fad’ o chèile.


“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” 

― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP

The priest was on a roll: “Each person you meet is worthy of your compassion!” he prayed loudly. “Sheep, too,” the knitter mentally added.

~Dr. SunWolf,


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“Why do you have a cigarette lighter in your glove compartment?” her husband, Jack, asked her. “I’m bored with knitting. I’ve taken up arson”
― Audrey Niffenegger, Her Fearful Symmetry



Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”

― Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942

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Those who make compassion an essential part of their lives find the joy of life. Kindness deepens the spirit and produces rewards that cannot be completely explained in words. It is an experience more powerful than words. To become acquainted with kindness one must be prepared to learn new things and feel new feelings. Kindness is more than a philosophy of the mind. It is a philosophy of the spirit.

Robert J. Furey

“Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others.” —Cornflower”

― Brian Jacques, Redwall

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“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today and yesterday.”

A common shipwreck is a consolation to all.

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“I know whether or not I am confused most readily by noticing–being mindful of–my capacity for feeling caring concern. … when I feel myself in caring connection–encouraging, consoling, or appreciating–I feel the twin pleasures of clarity and goodness. It doesn’t matter if the connection I feel is to myself or a person I know or people I don’t know or even the whole world. The lively impulse of caring is what counts. ”
― Sylvia Boorstein, Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life

Patience and fortitude conquer all things.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”

― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

― Abigail Adams


“Rage is a powerful energy that with diligent practice can be transformed into fierce compassion. However much we disagree with our enemies, our task is to identify with them. They too feel justified in their point of view.”

Siddhārtha Gautama

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. Martin Luther King Jr.


I don’t like your generation, Miss Gray. I don’t like your arrogance, your selfishness, your selfishness, your violence, THE CURIOUS SELECTIVITY OF YOUR COMPASSION. You pay for nothing with your own coin, not even for your ideals. You denigrate and destroy and never build. You invite punishment like rebellious children, then scream when you are punished. The men I knew, the men I was brought up with, were not like that. " P.D. James.

Tamuh — Is it proper to tame a parrot and give it into the claws of a cat ?

"Eastern Proverbs and Emblems Illustrating Old Truths"


Birds move to their trees and I think of private talk

on the edge of winter, your voice soft, hurried
by the wind; swept-leaves in the bush-hut hours;
parrots like the sound of children sleeping out at dusk.


Judith Beveridge

foto- baby king parrot at raleigh 2010

There never was a heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate. South.

"Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages: Classified Subjectively and Arranged Alphabetically"


For me music is a vehicle to bring our pain to the surface, getting it back to that humble and tender spot where, with luck, it can lose its anger and become compassion again.
Paula Cole

foto – new kitten at raleigh

Though ever so compassionate, we feel within I know not what tart, sweet, malicious pleasure in seeing others suffer.

The antiquity of proverbs


How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.  George Washington Carver

foto – goanna by susan pomroy 2009

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Keshavan Nair


How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.  ~George Washington Carver