by Guo Gu
My teacher, the late Master Sheng Yen, once said something very simple, but which requires a lifetime of practice to actualize. I share it with you in this difficult time: “Wisdom does not give rise to vexations; compassion has no enemies.”
Wisdom is to be free from greed, hatred, and ignorance, which are the three root vexations. Compassion is to act without opposition. Siding with those who agree with me is greed; opposing those who don’t agree with me and wishing they would go away is hatred; not being able to see this mechanism is ignorance. Do our decisions and interpretations of what we experience foster vexations? Do greed, hatred, and ignorance live in us? How many times in our life have we tried to blame others for our suffering? How often do we see things in opposition, as victim and victimizer, good and bad?