In Chinese, there are two characters to describe compassion. One is Ci, meaning “to give peace and happiness to others”. The other is Bei, meaning “to help others free from suffering”. But only when we are able to feel and understand Ci-Bei intimately on ourselves, can we have more impetus to share Ci-Bei with others!
For all the sentient beings, no one doesn’t want to stay with peace and happiness or keep away from suffering, even a tiny ant! But we always ignore that “to stay with peace and happiness” never comes with “to put oneself or others into suffering”. Just like planting the seeds of weeds will never harvest wheat or rice. What we gave in the past brings what we have now, what we are giving now brings what we will gain in the future.
How to cultivate the energy of compassion?
First of all, we should always have the best wishes for ourselves: “wishing that we always abide in peace and happiness without hatred, jealousy and asking for more than enough…” We should also think: ”only when I’m free from affliction and suffering, is there more probability to help others liberate from difficult time.” And remember sincerity is most important both for you and others.
Then we can grant the best wishes to others. At first, we’d better select someone whom we really care or respect, such as our parents, brother/sister, a teacher…and think ”wishing you always abide in peace and happiness and keep away from mental and physical sufferings, difficulties, conflicts or disasters...” Secondly, we may select good friends, colleagues who used to help or support you. Then we can try on those who just have neutral relation or no relation with us. At last we can deliver warm wishes to those who used to have conflict with us, or even our enemy. You know how much and how far you can do. The quality of wishes for them should be the same. Not only for human beings, but also for other beings.
When we want to help others to free from affliction and suffering, at first, we’d better be sure: We should understand his affliction, but not stir with it. We should feel his suffering, but not to be captured into it. Just like that the two men who fall into the same trap are hard to survive to each other. Then, we should try as much as we can, but don’t regard you as the only condition. Sometimes we need to help someone hand by hand, sometimes we should give help in distance. But you can always help anyone with best wishes: “wishing you free from afflictions and suffering…” (may have more in detail depends on varied situations)
In daily life, whenever you have peace and happiness, share with all the beings; whenever you have suffering, wish all the beings free from suffering. When more negative moments are replaced by the best wishes, that are the best wishes for all the beings and ourselves!