Bright Aisles, Dark Alleys: What “Compassion for All Sentient Beings” Means

Posted: December 2, 2014 in Posts
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               Buddha taught compassion for all sentient beings. Tashi Nyima, whose words are reposted below, provided a great example of what this means during a recent Thanksgiving talk that was quite moving.

Great Middle Way

10349086_10205392592715415_7257494644106864853_n―a brief address by Tashi Nyima to the Richardson Interfaith Alliance (TX) during the Thanksgiving Observance

There is a quote in tonight’s program that reads: “Having abandoned the taking of life, refraining from the taking of life, we dwell without violence, with the knife laid down —scrupulous, full of mercy— trembling with compassion for all sentient beings.”  ―Buddha Shakyamuni

When people think of Buddhist monks, if they think of us at all, they imagine that we dwell in clouds of incense, smiling serenely, unperturbed, meditating on nothing. But, as you just read, we are not called to drift placidly in emptiness, but to “tremble with compassion for all sentient beings”.

I thought that the mention of ‘trembling’ was just a rhetorical device, until late one night, returning with my Teacher from visiting with refugees, when we passed by a dark alley and heard the cries of fear and pain of…

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