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Compassion & Bodhichitta


London 20 November 2004, Montpellier 16 January 2005.

 By explaining the nature of compassion and bodhichitta, and the logic and benefits of altruistic behaviour, Sogyal Rinpoche establishes a base from which the Buddhist teachings on compassion can be elaborated. All beings possess the innate qualities of empathy, love and compassion for others.
Empathy is the source of what Tibetans call nyingjé, a word which carries the sense of our heart naturally going out to someone experiencing pain in an expression of love and warm-heartedness. Nyingjé demonstrates our respect for and connection with all others and is proof of our buddha nature, of our potential for enlightenment.
However, we tend to limit our compassion to the handful of individuals we know and care for. For our compassion to become bodhichitta, we need to cultivate it, to infuse it with the limitless motivation of freeing all beings from suffering by guiding them to enlightenment.
If we can learn, step by step as the teachings show us, to develop to the deepest extent our compassion for all beings without exception and fuse that compassion with transcendent wisdom, then we have realized bodhichitta, ‘the heart of the enlightened mind’.

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