Francisco J. Varela

A Quote by Francisco J. Varela on compassion, sunyata, emptiness, bodhicitta, relative bodhicitta, and absolute bodhicitta

When dicussing wisdom from the point of view of  compassion, the Sanskrit term often used is bodhicitta, which has been variously translated as "enlightened mind," "the heart of the enlightened state of mind," or simply "awakened heart."  Bodhicitta is said to have two aspects, one absolute and one relative.  Absolute bodhicitta is the term applied to whatever state is considered ultimate or fundamental in a given Buddhist tradition - the experience of the groundlessness of sunyata or the (positively defined) sudden glimpse of the natural, awake state itself.  Relative bodhicitta is that fundamental warmth toward teh phenomenal world that practitioners report arises from absolute experience and that manifests iteself as concern for the welfare of others beyond merely naive compassion.

Francisco J. Varela

Source: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Pages: 249..250

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Francisco J. Varela on compassion and buddhism

The possibility for compassionate concern for others, which is present in all humans, is usually mixed with the sense of ego and so becomes confused with the need to satisfy one's own cravings for recognition and self-evaluation.  The spontaneous compassion that arises when one is not caught in the habitual patterns - when one is not perfoming volitional actions out of karmic cause and effect - is not done with a sense of need for feedback from its recipient.  It is the anxiety about feedback - the response of the other - that causes us tension and inhibition in our action.  When action is  done withouth the business-deal mentality, there can be relaxation. This is called supreme (or transcendental) generosity.

Francisco J. Varela

Source: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Pages: 249

Contributed by: Ryan

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