contagion

Posted by on 05.17.10 | 12 Comments
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Lying little tremors

Who knows their damned source?

And yet

Maybe they are the extending ripples of the Heart at play with itself.

“Our hearts are a storm she trembles at.“

Kuan Yin
Kuan Yin

It is unfortunate that Buddhism’s most enduring contribution to the world has been insufficiently translated as compassion. The original Sanskrit word is ‘karuna,’ which holds within itself traces of the fragment ‘ru,’ meaning ‘to weep’. While the Oxford dictionary describes compassion as pity bordering on the merciful, karuna is actually our ability to relate to another in so intense a measure that the plight of the other affects us as much as if it had been our own.

The term karuna is central to the entire Buddhist tradition. It is frequently described as a love for all beings, equal in intensity to a mother’s affection for her child. However, it is quite unlike conventional love, which is rooted in dualistic thinking and is egoistic, possessive and exclusive, in contrast to the all-encompassing nature of compassion. The root meaning of karuna is said to be the anguished cry of deep sorrow and understanding that can only come from an unblemished sense of oneness with others. –from an article at Exotic India

Thanks to Nancy Bea Miller of Genre Cookshop for this week’s One Single Impression prompt, trembling. Head over there for some takes on the prompt that may or may not leave you trembling…

timeline

12 Comments

  • On 05.17.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    Yes, most eastern philosophies are wrongly understood in the west. That was most informative.

  • On 05.17.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    Play awakens trembling hearts.  I love the idea of the heart playing with itself.  Beautiful. Namaste.

  • On 05.17.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    Loved that last line Beth. I did a paper on buddhism in a comparative religion class. Beautiful

  • On 05.18.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    PingBack from http://topsy.com/trackback?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L1&url=http://virtualteahouse.com/blogs/beth/archive/2010/05/17/contagion.aspx

  • On 05.18.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    I just love the way you dive into a subject, Beth. The poem was  more meaningful  when I went back to read it again.

  • On 05.19.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    Interesting in-depth look at compassion. I’ve often thought that a single word could hardly be defined the same way by any two people – Nice poem!

  • On 05.19.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    your picture choice is wonderful, and the words match it to perfection.

  • On 05.19.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    Yeah, you are right Beth, what the heart feels makes us tremble…:)

  • On 05.19.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    Lovely, meaningful poem, enjoyed it :)

  • On 05.20.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    I loked this very much Beth~  Thanks for sharing!

  • On 05.20.10 Anonymous wrote these pithy words:

    This is a nice poem, Beth.  I can feel those hearts’ ripples sometimes.  As I read I was wondering why.

    Your word from Buddhism, karuna, can relate to me as a sympathy pain.  I do know it is even stronger than this!  Thank you.  :)

    ..

  • On 05.29.10 Bill Ellis wrote these pithy words:

    Knowing, as I do, nearly nothing about Buddhism, I was fascinated to read of Karuna, which comes startlingly close to the Biblical notion of "agape" which itself is badly misunderstood.  How completely not strange at all that is, that East and West should find a point of intersection in such a spot, and how reassuring as well.

    Oomfl

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