Feeling the Cries of the World
in, we allow ourselves to feel the inevitable suffering that occurs in this life.
heart’s natural response to this suffering, while breathing out, is compassion.
in the pain and suffering of this world like a dark cloud, letting it pass through our hearts. Rather than
bracing ourselves against this pain and suffering, we can let it strengthen our sense of belonging and
interdependence within the larger web of being.
(Chenrezig) is the Bodhisattva of Universal Compassion. His name means “One Who Hears the Cries of the World.”
Long ago he vowed not to return to Nirvana until all living beings had been liberated from suffering.
Avalokiteshvara listens to and feels the pain and suffering of the world. He breathes in, receiving the cries
and anguish of the world and responds with the greatest care and compassion.
Buddhism, the traditional vow made by the Bodhisattva is to alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings.
of the Bodhisattva is to remember our belonging and connection with all of life. When we know in our hearts that
we are connected to the insects, animals, trees, the earth, and every living being, we do not cause harm or
suffering to any of these parts of ourselves.
become sensitive and attuned to the cries of the world, and we learn to respond with wisdom and deep
compassion. We develop the wish to free all beings from their suffering and its causes; we desire, more
than anything, to bring them happiness and peace.
Indeed, the practice of Tonglen is an excellent way for us to train our heart and mind so we too can develop
universal compassion and help alleviate the suffering of all living beings.
: Used with permission from
Neil Steven Cohen at Naljor Prison Dharma Service, PO Box 1177, Mount Shasta CA 96067. (