Compassion is the intention to relieve the suffering of others. It arises with the recognition of the universality of suffering and the realization that all living beings desire happiness. Bhante G. defined compassion as “the melting of the heart at the thought of another’s suffering.” It can also be the melting of the heart at the thought of your suffering.
Everyone suffers. We
act skillfully when we recognize the suffering in ourselves and other and
practice compassion. How to practice
compassion is covered in the Compassion Series[i].
The three intentions of letting go, practicing
loving-kindness, and practicing compassion are all examples of skillful
behavior and lead to happiness. By
adopting these intentions, we not only secure happiness for ourselves but for
others as well.