Compassion is the wish that all sentient beings be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. And fierce, strong compassion also includes the determination to become awakened to bring all beings to that fully awakened state. This is a bold and open-minded vision that excludes no one and welcomes the challenge. We can embrace this view and train in it step by step, becoming slowly stronger and more full of awareness.
We aim to cultivate and develop ten qualities of compassion. These ten qualities also correspond to the ten pāramitās
, or ten perfections, the transcendent activities. When we master these qualities, we will embody compassion and become a field of merit for all sentient beings.
The ten qualities of compassion are as follows:
1. Freedom from attachment – the pāramitā of generosity
2. Mindfulness – the pāramitā of discipline
3. Patience when encountering difficulty – the pāramitā of patience
4. Delight in virtue – the pāramitā of diligence
5. Non-distraction – the pāramitā of meditative concentration
6. Wisdom free of the three spheres – the pāramitā of wisdom (prajñā)
7. Doing what is needed and required – the pāramitā of skillful means
8. Power of compassion – the pāramitā of strength, or power
9. Aspiration prayers – the pāramitā of aspiration
10. The direct realization of the nature of things – the pāramitā of primordial wisdom (jñāna)
In the short booklet, Fearless Compassion
) Phakchok Rinpoche explains how these ten principles relate to the perfections. He points out that the last four elements arise as qualities from having trained in compassion. This reflects the classic Mahayana sutra, the Saṃdhinirmocana sūtra (Unraveling the Intent).
There, the Buddha explains the perfections to the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara
. In this text, the Buddha explains how these training methods support each other. They are qualities that we both cultivate and naturally develop.
How do we accomplish this training? As with any other skill, we proceed gradually. Our intent to benefit beings is innate. But compassion can be enhanced and expanded through intention and effort. We apply ourselves to each of the steps and they support each other. In this way, we can manifest genuine, authentic compassion.
We encourage you to explore Samye Institute’s Training in Compassion
self-paced course. This course gives you the tools to develop the scope of compassion and to have confidence in your ability. You can get a sense of this course by watching the recent live session
by our instructor, Dr. David Shlim
Samye Institute also provides teachings by our monastic instructors on the first group of six perfections. Tulku Migmar Tsering
and Khenpo Gyaltsen
explain how we can proceed along the bodhisattva path by practicing the pāramitās.
Tulku Migmar’s teachings on the first four perfections can be found here
. And Khenpo Gyaltsen recently instructed the sangha on the six perfections in detail in a series of teachings sponsored by the Indonesian sangha. You can view part one here
, part two
is available here.
We would like to thank Asociación Bodhicitta Escola de l'Esser for their kindness in translating Fearless Compassion into Spanish.
Nuestros sinceros agradecimientos para Asociación Bodhicitta Escola de l'Esser por traducir este texto al español. Si conoces a alguien interesado en leer el texto en su versión traducida, por favor reenvía este enlace: