Learning About Compassion for Lha Bab Duchen
Every year we celebrate Lha-Bab-Duchen on the 9th month of the 22nd date of the lunar calendar. It is the day Buddha descended from heaven to the earth. As Lha-Bab-Duchen comes every year, we usually gather together and chant, lighting up the butter lamps. This year, we decided to do the same thing, but our director, Genla Lobsang Phuntsok, decided to have a discussion among ourselves about Compassion. All the teachers, class 8 & 9 students and Amalas gathered together and asked questions to Genla relating about compassion. It was much better than doing chanting, because we learned something after having the discussion among ourselves.
Below are a few thoughts I wrote after we talked about compassion:
Compassion is not a noun that we can see its color or we can touch it. It is a verb that we can feel, express and have experience about. There are many examples of compassion that we can experience in our life, like if you are sick, someone comes to you and asks you how you are feeling or brings you food. Then, the person who is sick or suffering feels their compassion. Caring for a sick dog (animal) or human, giving good advice are all examples of compassion. It is a force of nature, a foundation for everything, a source of happiness, a way for loving and caring for living beings. Compassion is an energy that produces more excitement to do work in every field from all of our heart. It gives courage to not lose faith and become hopeless. To make a compassionate person is more difficult than doing any work in this world. I always thank my teachers, Amalas, Sponsors, Donors and my dear Genla. They are more amazing than the person who invented the airplane, computer, etc. Sometimes someone may be harsh to you in his/her spoken words but it doesn’t mean that he/she hates you. They are helping you to become compassionate person so that you can spread your affectionate love like an epidemic. In the Hebrew language, the word for compassion is the same as ‘mother’s womb.’ A compassionate person is amazing because the compassion which he/she has cannot be bought or taken away. Compassion doesn’t always mean being gentle, or polite. It may sometime mean being harsh to someone. Most of the time people don’t like to hear the truth. Developing compassion in our daily life means to love yourself and not be fascinated by other things. Don’t blame yourself. Humans can buy things but nobody can buy us. So, it is very important to praise yourself too. People always think to change the world into peace through compassion and love but people never think to change themselves or bring out their compassion. Once Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you want to change the world by compassion, first you have to change yourself into a compassionate person then you can change or heal the world. You cannot change the world without changing yourself.
–Tenzin Drolma ‘A’
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