What does Reverence for Life say abut the relations between [humanity] and the animal world? Whenever I injury any kind of life I must be quite certain that it is necessary. I must never go beyond the unavoidable, not even in apparently insignificant things. The farmer who has mowed down a thousand flowers in his meadow in order to feed his cows must be careful on his way home not to strike the head off a single flower by the side of the road in idle amusement, for he thereby infringes on the law of life without being under the pressure of necessity.
Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference — in our own lives and those of others.
The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom.
Three passions have governed my life: The longings for love, the search for knowledge, And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind]. Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. In the union of love I have seen In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of People. I have wished to know why the stars shine. Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, But always pity brought me back to earth; Cries of pain reverberated in my heart Of children in famine, of victims tortured And of old people left helpless. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, And I too suffer. This has been my life; I found it worth living.
Instead of a bottom-line based on money and power, we need a new bottom-line that defines productivity and creativity as where corporations, governments, schools, public institutions, and social practices are judged as efficient, rational and productive not only to the extent they maximize money and power, but to the extent they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and our capacities to respond with awe and wonder at the grandeur of creation.
A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.
The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.
To bow to the fact of our life’s sorrows and betrayals is to accept them; and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine.
When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.
All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
Reason guides our attempt to understand the world about us. Both reason and compassion guide our efforts to apply that knowledge ethically, to understand other people, and have ethical relationships with other people.
It is important not to allow ourselves to be put off by the magnitude of others’ suffering. The misery of millions is not a cause for pity. Rather it is a cause for compassion.
It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.