Feb 05

Kalu Rinpoche | Loving kindness and compassion | Podcast 04 (transcription)

Kalu Rinpoche Podcast – Episode 4 – January 27, 2021 (9 min) – Loving kindness and compassion

Hello everyone, this is Kalu Rinpoche’s podcast, and thank you for being here with me again.

So I’m going to start saying some meaningless, can be meaningful, who knows. I think it’s really important for all of us that when we defined ourself as a Buddhist practitioner, spiritual practitioner, I think it’s really important to understand the meaning of loving kindness, and the meaning of compassion.

Because when we talk about loving kindness, because the problem with loving kindness is that, it has been commercially used, politically used, so many times, and everywhere. And we tend to have this idea that “it’s so easy to understand, it’s so easy to have it, it’s so easy to do it” just because we heard it so many times. And we have this assumption that “I think I know it, I think I have, I think I did it” and that’s the problem.

Loving kindness should be, never used with the real people at the beginning. And loving kindness has to combine with a spiritual practice, with a visualization practice, with a dedication practice, and once you have a sense of stability, and then slowly, naturally, influencing other people, with your positive attitude, with your positive speech, with your positive action, without any intention, without any pretentious attitude, but rather, naturally.

When you are genuine and loving and kindness to other people, naturally, that’s when you can call yourself a Buddhist practitioner, or bodhicitta practitioner. But it should not be based on something, good mood or bad mood, it has to be a quality and a realization that is day and night, forever in your lifetime.

So that’s the bodhicitta that we need to understand. Because many of us when we think about bodhicitta, loving kindness, we hear so much that we assume that we understood, but we are not even close to understanding any of that. Kindness is not about pleasing other people. Kindness, definition of kindness, and loving and kindness as a Buddhist practitioner, it means that you as a practitioner providing a supreme wisdom, a supreme path and wisdom. That is the true meaning of loving kindness.

If you try to please people, that’s not loving kindness. That’s pleasing people. Pleasing people and loving kindness are not the same. Pretending to be good is not a loving kindness. You are pretending. You are not natural.

But when you have this continuity of loving kindness, over the years, and then gradually over the time, there will be a glimpse of selflessness, and yet with a clear state of mind. And from that moment on, whatever the activities you may be doing, you will be always selfless. In terms of activities, you will be always outward and wanting to benefit all the sentient beings, without any pretentious attitude, without any tricky mentalities or mindset or behavior. Anything you do will be always the caring and genuine, wanting to benefit to others, and that will develop by itself over the time.

But like all the great masters, they said “before helping others, help yourself first, liberate yourself first”, but when they say something like that, it doesn’t mean that you don’t save other people’s life. You do what you can, with your own capacity, it doesn’t mean that you should not. You should do, anything that is within your capacity without destroying your own life, or destroying your own future. You should do all your best, but not to the extent where your ego takes over, where your pride takes over.

So loving kindness is very important, but we must always have awareness to our pride and our ego and ignorance. And I think that is very important key point.

Because many people when they start to do some kind of loving kindness activities, they get into this kind of a tunnel, little bit like “loving kindness very important, loving kindness very important” but the loving kindness means nothing if you never practice. If you have some meditation method, some spiritual understanding, and some retreat in your time, and when I say retreat, doesn’t mean month or year, it can be days or hours, still a retreat. As long as your mind is not distracted, that is always count as a retreat. So, continuity of some practice and retreat, the quality of the loving kindness will improve over the time. Because the difference that it has to make with loving kindness is a continuity of having awareness to your own action, to your own intention, to your own mindset. So having this continuity in your own self, and externally continuity of loving kindness, dedication and prayers, and eventually the true meaning of compassion and the realization of the compassion will develop over the time.

You cannot be compassionate and say that you are compassionate, in the meantime, you are being attached to yourself. It’s contradiction. You can be compassionate when you have realization. You can have a loving kindness to all the sentient beings based on your own capacities. And it has to improve over the time, and patience and guidance and retreat, and knowing what is the true definition of awareness, what is the true definition of recognizing the distraction. And a continuity of the principle, continuity without any pretentious attitude, while you are doing practice. Not necessarily in ordinary life, but at least when you are doing practice. And then the difference will come over the time.

So, I think I talk too much, so I will make a recording some other time.

Thank you for listening, bye for now.