Quotes for
the Journey:

Compassion 2

If your compassion does not
include yourself, it is incomplete.

the Buddha


Though people may try to stop you from following the correct path they can never divert you from correct behavior.  Just make sure they don't force you to lose compassion toward them.      -Marcus Aurelius

Next time you encounter someone in pain, don't just wince and pass by with a shrug.  Hurting people need a bit of color to brighten their dark places, and they need to remember the promise that God is with them right where they are.  Where rainbows grow, angels sing and courage becomes contagious.  You can be a rainbow gardener by opening your heart even if you're in pain yourself.       -Barbara Johnson
When I'm bewildered and overwhelmed, I seek the gentle guidance of a person I know will respond with compassion.  Life is complicated enough without having to listen to the caustic remarks of someone's misdirected strength.
-Patsy Clairmont
When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.      -Sogyal Rinpoche
The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized.  Anyone can criticize.  It takes a true believer to be compassionate.  No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands.        -Arthur H. Stainback

A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness.  This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature.       -Albert Einstein
True compassion flows fast, as if we were wounded ourselves, yet without diminishing our strength.       -Modern Japanese inspiration
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.       -the Dalai Lama
To develop true compassion, first we must know that suffering is real, and that sufferings hurt.       -Thupten Rinpoche
The purpose of the journey is compassion.  When you have come past all the pairs of opposites you have reached compassion.       -Joseph Campbell
Without an awareness of our feelings we cannot experience compassion. How can we share the sufferings and the joys of others if we cannot experience our own?       -Gary Zukav
When we see ourselves as we truly are--divinely perfect human beings struggling to live out the gifts of spirituality--we have an opportunity to crack open the door of compassion a bit.  When we can compassionately see that we fumble, we make mistakes, or that we are (if only faintly and occasionally!) aware of a goodness within us that we do not always know how to express, we start to be aware of feelings of compassion for ourselves.  Once we are aware of compassion for ourselves, it is only a very short step to begin to feel compassion for others.        -Anne Wilson Schaef

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.       -Thomas Merton
The joy that compassion brings is one of the best-kept secrets of humanity.  It is a secret known only to a very few people, a secret that has to be rediscovered over and over again.        -Henri J.M Nouwen
If children show signs of being afraid, such as crying and hiding, we do our best to comfort them.  We hug them, and we try to calm them down.  We give them our sympathy and our love.  When an adult shows signs of fear, though, in the form of rudeness or obnoxiousness, we respond by trying to put that person in his or her place.  We have little sympathy, and we often feel hurt or diminished by that person's actions or words.  Have you ever seen someone act in a way that was hurtful, and then found out later that something drastic, such as the death of a loved one, had just happened to that person?  Once we have an explanation for the behavior, it's not just acceptable, but understandable.       -Tom Walsh


Perhaps we can only truly serve those we are willing to touch, not only with our hands but with our hearts and even our souls.  Professionalism has embedded in service a sense of difference, a certain distance.  But on the deepest level, service is an experience of belonging, an experience of connection to others and to the word around us.  It is this connection that gives us the power to bless the life in others.  Without it, the life in them would not respond to us.       -Rachel Naomi Remen
What value has compassion that does not take its object in its arms?       -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Nothing helps us build our perspective more than developing compassion for others.  Compassion is a sympathetic feeling.  It involves the willingness to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to take the focus off yourself and to imagine what it's like to be in someone else's predicament, and simultaneously, to feel love for that person.  It's the recognition that other people's problems, their pain and frustrations, are every bit as real as our own--often far worse.  In recognizing this fact and trying to offer some assistance, we open our own hearts and greatly enhance our sense of gratitude.       -Richard Carlson
Rest assured that, generally speaking, others are acting in exactly the same manner that you would under exactly the same circumstances.  Hence, be kind, understanding, empathetic, compassionate, and loving.       -Gary W. Fenchuk
Often the most loving thing we can do when a friend is in pain is to share the pain--to be there even when we have nothing to offer except our presence and even when being there is painful to ourselves.       -M. Scott Peck
I am compassionate.  I allow my heart and imagination to embrace the difficulties and concerns of others.  While maintaining my own balance, I find it within myself to extend sympathy, attention, and support.  When they are grieved, I listen with openness and gentle strength.  I offer loyalty, friendship, and human understanding.  Without undermining or enabling, I aid and assist others to find their strength. I allow the healing power of the Universe to flow through me, soothing the hearts and feelings of those I encounter.        -Julia Cameron
Compassion springs from a mind and heart deeply rooted in simplicity, integrity, and a profound understanding of the interconnected nature of all life.  Compassion is a transforming quality of heart we cultivate, nurture, and refine.  It is rediscovered through the falling away of the layers of fear, resistance, and anxiety that have the power to veil the innately compassionate heart.  Our challenge may not be so much one of becoming more compassionate, but one of learning to let go of the clouds of confusion that obscure the powerful compassion within us.       -Christina Feldman
Compassion is both teacher and student.  When we show it, we teach it to others.  When we feel it, we learn how it heals.       -Leslie Levine
Anyone who does not exercise compassion is ignorant of the reality that everyone needs it at some time in life; or we forget that someone has blessed us with compassion at a time when we needed it.       -Joseph M. Marshall III
If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.       -Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross
I cannot but have reverence for all that is called life.  I cannot avoid compassion for everything that is called life.  That is the beginning and foundation of morality.     -Albert Schweitzer

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