Friday, July 27, 2007


This was e-mailed to a group to which I belong from a friend who recently lost a soul dear to her but who, in thanking the group for their emotional support, found the spirit to send this on:

Compassion a Source of Energy by Thich Nhat Hanh

"Life is precious. It is everywhere, inside us and all around us; it
has so many forms.

The First Precept is born from the awareness that lives everywhere are being destroyed. We see the suffering caused by the destruction of life, and we undertake to cultivate compassion and use it as a source of energy for the protection of people, animals, plants, and minerals.
The First Precept is a precept of compassion, karuna -- the ability to remove suffering and transform it. When we see suffering, compassion is born in us.

It is important for us to stay in touch with the suffering of the world. We need to nourish that awareness through many means -- sounds, images, direct contact, visits, and so on -- in order to keep compassion alive in us. But we must be careful not to take in too much. Any remedy must be taken in the proper dosage. We need to stay in touch with suffering only to the extent that we will not forget, so that compassion will flow within us and be a source of energy for our actions. If we use anger at injustice as the source for our energy, we may do something harmful, something that we will later regret. According to Buddhism, compassion is the only source of energy that is useful and safe. With compassion, your energy is born from insight; it is not blind energy."
From: The First Precept: Reverence for Life
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thank you, Thich Nhat Hanh, for the teaching and, my dear friend, for the exquisite reminder. We are one with the spirits of our departed friends as long as we remember the love we shared.


Pearl said...

For sure. It is important to keep balance. Compassion for suffering in too high of dose is only bitterness with an addiction to despair and self-protective repulsion from what it soft, tender and good.

Susan said...

Extremely moving. Thank you for posting it.