Tough Compassion

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Some people are so attached to the worst of this world they cannot be saved in this reincarnation. I think that sometimes what is best, what is the most compassionate thing we can do for the criminally insane fanatics among us is to give them a chance to start over with a rebirth. And given their karmic load, their rebirths would not be pretty. Call it tough compassion.

Those who sent the Islamic Kamikaze to fly their planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center deserve the toughest compassion we can muster.

--Warren "I can only be responsible for what I do."

-- Warren C. Norwood (wcnorwood@worldnet.att.net), September 13, 2001

Answers

The Israeli leader's name is Yitzak Rabin.

Your decision to rise to the challenge of compassion is a tough one. Perhaps the difficulty you face now could be likened to when a person lights a fire, whose smoke stings the eye; once the fire gets going, it provides light and warmth.

Whatever practice is your path -- zazen, metta, tonglen, prayer -- your compassion and wisdom will be nurtured; what is deepest within you, will appear before you.

If you'd care to comment, I'd welcome further word(s) on your statement: "Please don't abuse the language so as to corrupt the innocent ignorant to follow."

There is, by the way, a page of links related to prisons, prison reforms, and the death penalty, including the recent speech by Governor Ryan abolishing the death penalty in his state.


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-- gary gach (gary@word.to), February 05, 2003.


Sounds like crime and punishment lynch style. How can we call capital punishment compassion, tough or otherwise. It is presented as a form of euthanasia with a distinct flavour of vengeful prejudicial rightiousness with an after taste that delights. My God teaches me that compassion is an expression of love through recognition and support to relieve anothers suffering. The tough part is extending it to mine enemy. From Isreal, his name escapes me, he has since been asassinated "Peace is made not with our friends but our enemies [of course it will include compromise]"

I think it is tough to grow compassion for our enemies. I have not risen to the challenge in my heart. In the interim-: Please don't abuse the language so as to corrupt the innocent ignorant to follow.

-- deborah sullivan (deborah.sullivan@bigpond.com), February 05, 2003.


Dear Sensei,

Today, under the Buddha's gaze I killed a rabid skunk dying by a tree in the front yard

Harm no sentient being. Work to end all suffering.

There was no way to save her life. There was no way to ease her death.

Forty feet from Buddha's concrete statue, with an apology to the skunk and a prayer, I held the barrel close, I pulled the trigger, and blew her into the Bardo between this life and the next.

The karma weighed on my shoulders and the shovel as I dug her grave, chanting, "Om mani padme hum."

When our dog Nigel was sick with cancer I stroked his head as they gave him the killing shot. I promised him peanuts and eyes to see them with after his reincarnation.

I apologized to the skunk, but could not offer the hand of comfort before I made the 12-gauge take her life. Right intent, the Buddha said, act and think with right intent.

Master, today I killed a rabid skunk. We buried her beside the bamboo stand. -xxx- Copyright 2002, Warren C. Norwood

-- Warren C. Norwood (wcnorwood@worldnet.att.net), February 05, 2003.


Hello Warren, I am but a novice in all things. Of relevance to our discussion is judgement. That is ours of ourselves and others. You are right much like the song by was is Commander Cody - smoke gets in my eyes, no I think his was smoke smoke smoke that cigarette!!?? My failing memory is not in question.

Judgement? So many teachings tell me not to judge. For years now I have struggled along the path of nonjudgement and fall repeatedly. My confusion or errors I think are ocurring in the choice where I am told not to keep the company of fools -> by whose judgement do I withhold my company. I consider experience a mighty teacher and follow its lessons as best I can, or will?!

So as we practice living our lives in the grey areas [perhaps in our grey matter] I seek to know at which point I shall have the wisdom to know when I should remove my hand because it offends me. Christians advise we are all of one body, each as essential as the next. Why in humanity would I amputate a part of myself if all healing comes from within?

Warren, as to my comment -Please don't abuse the language so as to corrupt the innocent ignorant to follow -I apologise if I am offensive in its delivery. Dad was a career military man and my mother a hospital matron, my humanities subjects included "German translation" & "The history of science" so we can see what a well rounded individual I am! Warren I was appealling to your use of "tough compassion". Your words were expressing more perhaps the inequity we feel when we grieve such gross atrocities as Sept 11.

It is in these times we so easily defer to our first programmed default settings. To be mindful is to choose to over ride these settings after acknowledging them and deeming them unhelpful. My memory has always challenged me, even in trig and calc I found my best recall was to go back to basic principles rather than an encoded formulae. I suppose I am suggesting the influence we wield goes beyond our lips into the actions of others inspired or encouraged by it. The ripple effect includes when our words are misread or mis used to defend "wrong" action? Your sentiment is felt, however your casual reference to tough compassion is the relief of our suffering not theirs. Such folk for whatever misguided reasons died happy free of suffering in their own minds, exhalted by their peers. Unfathomnable to us perhaps.

I feel your reference could be inciteful, the innocent ignorant might be inspired under the mask of compassion justify revengeful actions born of pain and suffering. Acts that will carry your name in the barcode. For the love of humanity let me not incite another to deliver my mischief.

Regards Deb

-- deb sullivan (deborah.sullivan@bigpond.com), February 08, 2003.


Thanks, Deb, but what about the skunk?

Namaste, Warren

-- Warren C. Norwood (wcnorwood@worldnet.att.net), February 08, 2003.



Yes Warren, your skunk was grateful for your compassion, instead of the anonymous dispassion of doing nothing, you felt the power in your hand and you dealt with it's suffering in a way that produced ultimate relief! Please I am a sarcastic sort. I would surely have done likewise though I am unclear if it were me suffering at the side of the road, would you have done the same. Is euthenasia tough compassion? I came to this site via Spiritwalk and was keen to learn about tough compassion when I saw the reference! Where can we go from here? Regards Deb

-- deb sullivan (deborah.sullivan@bigpond.com), February 09, 2003.

Thanks for your response, Deb.

If you were rabid and dying beside the road, I would do for you what I first did for the skunk: I would call for help. In your case they would send an ambulance and trained medical personell. In the skunk's case they said they would send an animal control officer to kill it, but it would probably take three or four hours. I could not let the skunk suffer another three or four hours, so I told the authorities not to bother, just give me instructions on how to bury it. They advised covering it with clorox. I used that and my poor Buddhist prayers.

I never suggested tough compassion was easy, or simple, only that there were times when it was the most caring thing we could show.

Namaste, Warren

-- Warren C. Norwood (wcnorwood@worldnet.att.net), February 10, 2003.


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