A Quote by Bernard Glassman on compassion, kannon, kuan yin, avalokitesvara, attachment, skillful means, and buddhist compassion

In Buddhism we have different images and symbols. One of my favorites is Kannon, the image of compassion. Kannon can be a male or a female. There are different physical images of Kannon, but one shows Kannon with many, many arms. Why does Kannon have so many arms? I believe it is because Kannon took the the vos to make peace among all sentient beings she was so overwhelmed by the enormity of what that meant that she burst apart into millions of pieces. But the energy of that same vow brought all those pieces back in the shape of a million arms. Each arm holds something different. One arm holds a watch, one holds glasses, one arm bears a pen, one a hoe, one arm a Christmas bag, one a condom. Each arm has something different for the proper occasion.

Each of is an arm of Kannon, enabling Kannon to do her work. Like her, we're also overwhelmed, but when we reallize that the millions of pieces are all operating as one, then there's no problem. The reason we get overwhelmed is that we're attached to a certain result or taht we want to achieve a certain result or that we to achieve a certain goal. If we weren't attached we wouldn't be overwhelmed. It's endless. And we just take one step after the next

Bernard Glassman

Source: Buddhist Acts of Compassion by Pemela Bloom

Contributed by: Ryan