Compassion in Action – developing a caring culture by Wendy Har

I would like to share my point of view on how to cultivate compassion in action and developing a caring culture.

Buddha was born as a human in our world. After living six years of asceticism, Buddha reached the state of enlightenment and started to teach Dharma for 49 years in our world. His Dharma teaching is for us, to be used in our daily lives, to enable us to enjoy the feeling of living in heaven. Since compassion is inherent in all human beings, with the nature of Buddha hiding somewhere inside us, the question is how do we implement it in our lives? The answer is to bring it out by exercising acts of compassion. The next question we shall ask is HOW?

Master Hsing Yun has simplified it for us to practice compassion through practising Humanistic Buddhism. According to Master Hsing Yun, no one is born a Bodhisattva. Even the Bodhisattva has to practice Buddhism to become a Bodhisattva. Due to time restriction, I would like to share only two very simple ways of implementing compassion and developing a caring culture. I give these two methods a very easy and interesting name so that everybody can remember it easily. These are called the “3Gs” and “4Gs”.

Practice the Three Acts of Goodness (3Gs): 1) Do Good Deeds (virtue), 2) Speak Good Words (truthfulness) and 3. Think Good Thoughts (beauty). Our minds will be filled with the power of integrity and we shall inherently be relieved from adversity and calamity. We thereby accumulate merits whilst removing unwholesome karma, that is why practicing the Three Acts of Goodness and the Four Givings are fundamental.

Practice the Four Givings (4Gs), which is to give others faith, joy, hope and convenience. These symbolize the four immeasurable states of mind. Being willing to give others faith, one will naturally speak comforting words. In willingness to give others joy, one will innately see the good in others and praise them. Essentially, speaking good words will thus purifying one’s verbal karma. Owing to the willingness to give others hope one will instinctively show care, concern and encouragement. In essence, it is to think good thoughts, the purification of one’s mental karma. Befitting the willingness to give others convenience, one will naturally offer a helping hand altruistically. This is to do good deeds, subsequently the purification of one’s corporal karma. Thus the Three Acts of Goodness and the Four Givings, both embody the four immeasurable states of mind cultivated by Bodhisattvas. Collectively, these are the core concepts of Humanistic Buddhism.

We shall implement the Three Act of Goodness and the Four Givings in all nurseries and schools. Educating and helping children to practice the “3Gs” and “4Gs” is to assist them to bring out their care and compassion from a young age. Applying it in their daily lives, it will cultivate good habits of compassion that will bring love, peace and harmony between humans. Simultaneously, we are leading them through the Bodhisattva path and gradually to attain Buddhahood.

Thus, the Buddha said, as long as you treat someone with respect, care, compassion, encouragement and help them build self-esteem, then they will surely improve and grow.

Finally, Master Hsing Yun’s philosophy is “Humans can absolutely have nothing, but it is a MUST to have compassion.”

Wendy is an advisor in BLIA (Buddha’s Light International Association) Stockholm which is an international Buddhist Association, consisting of over 3 million members worldwide at present.