The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

COMPASSION: THE WISH-FULFILLING JEWEL 201are directly transferring your cherishing from its usual object,yourself, to other beings. So exchanging yourself for others isa very powerful way of loosening the hold on you of the selfcherishingand the self-grasping of ego, and so of releasing theheart of your compassion.4. Using a Friend to Generate CompassionAnother moving technique for arousing compassion for aperson who is suffering is to imagine one of your dearestfriends, or someone you really love, in that person's place.Imagine your brother or daughter or parent or best friendin the same kind of painful situation. Quite naturally yourheart will open, and compassion will awaken in you: Whatmore would you want than to free them from their torment?Now take this compassion released in your heart and transferit to the person who needs your help: You will find that yourhelp is inspired more naturally, and that you can direct itmore easily.People sometimes ask me: "If I do this, will the friend orrelative whom I am imagining in pain come to some harm?"On the contrary, thinking about them with such love andcompassion can only be of help to them, and will even bringabout the healing of whatever suffering and pain they mayhave gone through in the past, may be going through now, orhave yet to go through.For the fact that they are the instrument of your arousingcompassion, even if it is only for an instant, will bring themtremendous merit and benefit. Because they have been responsible,in part, for the opening of your heart, and for allowingyou to help the sick or dying person with your compassion,then the merit from that action will naturally return to them.You can also mentally dedicate the merit of that action toyour friend or relative who helped you to open your heart.And you can wish the person well, and pray that in the futurehe or she will be free of suffering. You will be grateful towardyour friend, and your friend might feel inspired and gratefultoo, if you tell the person that he or she helped you to evokeyour compassion.So to ask, "Will my friend or relative I am imagining inplace of the sick or dying person come to some harm?" showsthat we have not really understood how powerful and miraculousthe working of compassion is. It blesses and heals allthose involved: the person who generates compassion, the personthrough whom that compassion is generated, and the

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