Friday, March 4, 2011

c is for compassion

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (born 1935)

the images above and to the right are from my recent visit to the rubin museum of art in nyc and features a 13th century tibetan statue of avalokiteshvara, the all-seeing lord who is considered the buddha of compassion.

the curator's caption states: "Welcoming us with radiant compassion, the all seeing bodhisatra Avalokiteshvara wears a diadem that is graced by his spiritual master Buddha Amitabha. His body nimbus includes all six auspicious animals of the traditional backrest, here almost hidden within a series of roundels formed by the voluted tail of the bottom-most animal, the goose. From bottom to top those animals are: 1) goose 2) lion 3) elephant 4) leogryph 5)sea monster (makara) 6) snake eating garuda

at home I have a small cardboard altar which sits near my computer it contains an image of avalokiteshvara and the following meditation on compassion:

When one's heart is steeped
in compassion, no dissension
can bring disruption;
if one's heart is strengthened
by compassion, the mind enjoys
sweet coolness, like a clear
pool which no passion
can agitate, no fire
of anger destroy.


c is also for cat. below is a photo I took last weekend of my sister's cat, little cat (aka "lc") - doesn't lc's reflection in the window convey the impression that he too may be a bit all-seeing!

what's now is now from cake's album showcase of compassion (2011)


Unknown said...

Compassion is always a good topic! & that cat photo: wow!

Megan said...

Compassion is an excellent thing. One of the most important things, I think.

That kitty photo is unearthly!

Alan Burnett said...

As always : a perfect balance of fine words and equally fine images.

Watson said...

as always ... wonderful photos and writing! :-)

tut-tut said...

I am not familiar with Cake, but I try to be daily conversant with the practice of compassion.

Betsy Brock said...

Compassion. Exactly.

that reflection of lc is amazing!

karen said...

Love the kitty!...what an elegant creature. Liked your post on the altar the other day, and decided to share a glimpse into mine. You inspired me as always. Thanks mouse!