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Compassionate Koans - the Heart of the Matter

by Vijayamala

An excellent, personal set of reflections by Vijayamala on the relationship between our longing and our pain. The buddhist tradition posits compassion as the best response, but it isn't always clear how that works. No answers here - but a few leads and some thoughtful tales from life and from a longstanding practice of meditation.

Talk given at the Western Buddhist Order Women's Convention, 2005

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. The human condition - the constant arising of phenomena and the human response of compassion (4:34) 
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2. Samsara - endless circling (1:38) 
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3. Feeling frustrated about one's own suffering; a mahamudra view of compassion; quote from Edna St Vincent Millay; a positivity inherent in resisting suffering - the Bodhichitta (5:12) 
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4. The problem of longing; developing compassion in meditation (2:36) 
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5. Letting go - an example of lucid dreaming (5:05) 
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6. Compassion as an intrinsic part of reality; Mandarava in 'The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava'; bodhisattvas continue to suffer for lifetimes (4:19) 
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7. The Bodhichitta practice and alieviating suffering; our inadequacy in the face of suffering (5:25) 
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8. Compassion and interconnectedness as continuingly manifesting; a personal experience in meditation; staying open to reality as an expression of faith (6:36) 

Total running time: 35:25