The Intermittent Volunteer’s Weblog

Befriending People in Dallas Who Are Homeless

Suffering and Compassion May 1, 2008

Suffering and Compassion

       “Compassion is a mind that removes the suffering that is present in the other…We can nurture the unconditional love that does not expect anything in return and therefore does not lead to anxiety and sorrow…. The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the…suffering of others, to put ourselves ‘inside the skin’ of the other.  We ‘go inside’… and witness for ourselves their suffering….  Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering.  We must become one with the object of our observation.  When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us.  Compassion means, literally, ‘to suffer with.’”

       “We have to find ways to nourish and express our compassion.  When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept.  We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.”

                                                                                     ~~Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step  (81-83)


2 Responses to “Suffering and Compassion”

  1. carlos gomez Says:

    this poem or writting is realy good.

  2. Karen Shafer Says:

    I like this writer, too. He always inspires me.


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