Sunday, March 18, 2007

Daily Dharma: Sharon Salzberg -- Open Hearted Compassion

Daily Dharma from Tricycle:

All Living Beings Without Exception

Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion... is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.

~ Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness


Unknown said...

IMO, Sharon Salzberg displays so much conceit in so much of her writing it is impossible for me to read words like these of hers and not think she cannot possibly know what she is talking about.

It is rather easy to write in the Xtreme regarding compassion or peace or love or enlightenment or goodness or joy if one disregards hypocracy and knowing what you are writing about.

I would love to read what Salzberg might have to say about 'hypocracy.' She might have to tie herself into a pretzel in order to write anything.

[Sorry 'bout the discouraging words, I'm telling ya ... sorry ... but it needs to be said ... oop ... my bad ... maybe.]

william harryman said...


I have issues with Salzberg, too, but I liked this quote.

Thanks for adding your voice though.


Eric said...

@WH: I too, enjoyed this quote. I'm glad it was posted.

@Tom: I don't quite understand how this excerpt from Sharon is written with conceit or hypocritical undertones. Perhaps you can elaborate?

The way I see it, she speaks from experience. From the way that quotation is written (at least the way I'm reading it) it seems as though she's opening up, and describing to the audience, an honest and direct personal experience.

For what it's worth I'm not very familiar with her writing. However, I suppose my comment, then, is one of "complete" impartiality?