Letter of September 2007, from Poland

I am writing to you from Poland , where during the last few days I have been visiting some cities and meeting Buddhist practitioners so that we could talk about compassion. They have been generous with their praise, saying how much they have been enjoying our discussions, but they would say that, wouldn't they? No matter! What is important is that they must really be happy because we have been talking about the most valuable thing in the world, the best thing that any sentient being could ever wish for. Right! You've got it in one. Compassion. There is nothing like it, nothing to compare with it at all!

Our discussions have been about the exceptional compassion of the Buddhas. It is this kind of compassion that we all need because it is this kind of compassion that excludes no one, not even one sentient being, and it is this kind of compassion that includes everyone. We have been discovering how the confused mind, the mind that is ill-at-ease and exhausted from suffering, can find rest and take its ease in the exceptional compassion of the Buddhas. Surely this is the meaning of Dzogpa Chenpo, the Great Perfection? It must be this because when we finally rest our mind in such exceptional compassion, the raw material for the refineries of ignorance that continually spew out unending rivers of non-sensical thoughts can no longer be sourced and the naturally bright light of happiness shines ecstatically within our mind. This is the effect of extraordinary compassion. No ordinary compassion can do it, but only the exceptional compassion of the Buddhas which is absolutely uncontaminated and absolutely faultless.

Some were moved to tears by our discussions. Such tears cannot be the result of self-concern. They are the tears that well up from the infinite source of compassion, the realisation of the sufferings of sentient beings. They signal superiority of being because direct concern for the benefit of others is implicit within them. I am always happy when I come across people who genuinely study and reflect on the exceptional compassion of the Buddhas because I know that they will eventually become the guides of other sentient beings. They will be capable of guiding others to the state of the great full-stop, that state which is full of all that is necessary because it has put a stop to all that is unnecessary. It is the state of complete enlightenment − full of happiness and all that is positive and free from suffering and all that is negative.

When our talking tour comes to an end we will gather to study Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices and we will continue our discussion about compassion because that is the subject of this text. Compassion never ends! It is a vast ocean. Right now I am swimming in this ocean, the Compassionate Ocean ! It has got the best water of any ocean you could ever imagine. It is just so pleasant! Touching it makes you feel so good! It washes away all the sicknesses that come from the disturbing emotions. Its effect is rippling through these pages at this very moment as you are reading this newsletter. Read on. You may learn something to your advantage and not just to your own advantage but to the advantage of all sentient beings wherever they may be.

May this newsletter never spread confusion.

May it always bring clarity.

May it be the cause of happiness for everyone.

Tashi delegs! Ha! Ha! Ha!