Compassion, karuna, is the intention of non-cruelty. It is the aspect of loving kindness (metta) that responds wisely to pain, and wishes to alleviate suffering. Compassion training helps us to remain present with pain. There is no need to fear pain, no need to consider pain bad or wrong. A compassionate self-acceptance allows us to remain present and responsive in the face of life's most difficult moments. With compassion we can ask "How can I help?" and stay present to respond.
How do we find the place between indulgence and self-mortification, between pride and shame? This talk explores the relationship between humility and the Middle Way, through personal stories, poetry and practical techniques such as working with fear, the hindrances and the RAIN practice.
How do we find depth, focus and support for an engaged path? And why do we need such a path? Aren't traditional Buddhist paths complete and adequate for our times? In this talk, we explore these issues, identifying 1) the structure of the traditional path of training in ethics, meditation, and wisdom; 2) what an engaged path adds or extends and the way that it meets the needs of our times; and 3) five core training areas for engaged paths.