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Compassion + Wisdom = Lasting Happiness

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

a bird gliding in the sky

There is a scene in Shakespeare’s play King Lear when the aging and sometimes confused

former monarch contemplates what he truly needs. He realizes that externally people actually require appreciably less than they have, and that what people truly need are internal qualities that enable them to respond to life skillfully. Shakespeare, of course, did not practice Buddhism, but nonetheless he taps into Buddha’s timeless and universal teachings, for Buddha taught that if we are to solve our problems both individually and collectively, our true needs are compassion and wisdom.

When we have compassion for others, we open our hearts to them and in this way we feel

connected to them. Compassion is an open, joyful, happy mind because it is a loving mind.

Wisdom is a large topic in Buddha’s teachings. On one level, it can refer to understanding how we should train our minds if we wish to promote our own and others’ happiness. On a deeper level, it refers to a profound understanding of the way things really are as opposed to the way they appear to us to be. Every effort we make to develop our compassion and wisdom leads us toward enlightenment - like the two wings of a bird. We cannot use our time in any more meaningful way, nor can we find anything we need more than these two qualities.

To hear more about how compassion and wisdom together are the real solution to our pain and problems, check out this beautiful excerpt from a teaching given by our General Spiritual Director, Gen-la Dekyong.

We also have a special opportunity coming up to receive teachings on compassion and wisdom, and inspiring energy to supercharge your own practice. Join us the weekend of September 23-24 for the Blessing Empowerment of Je Tsongkhapa: Healing Nectar of Wisdom & Compassion.

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