Love and Compassion


As usual, we start with a small meditation, then we talk on the difference between love and compassion and how to develop or how to bring out the love or generate love and compassion without an expectation or without a desire of come.

This is a very nice topic, a loving compassion from different perspectives. I’ll just go with one by one, then you get to know quite clearly and then you come to love and compassion.

There are lots and lots of misunderstanding, and many people just assume that love is something else, it’s totally known and also many people loving all this, they have different points of view and different misunderstanding or understanding whatever is.

So I am going to talk based on Buddhist psychology and the way Buddhist Masters practised and the way they achieved realization through practicing. That’s exactly a clear-cut meaning of the word “being emotion”, not just by purely Buddha giving but also the practices by older masters in the last 2000 years and also lots of debates, discussions so there establish clear-cut meaning of the word “being emotion”, so these are quite important and I would be happy to go through this thing one by one.

Before we start with this, let’s start with a short meditation, not just to concentration to the breathing, but also to concentrate the motivation.

The reason why we are learning and studying about this mind, especially love and compassion, how to generate not merely to understand it but to bring that source of qualities of loving compassion within ourselves towards all sentient beings and to make ourselves a nicer person, a kinder person, make ourselves a person who everybody wishes to have as a friend, everybody wishes to be around. I told this once earlier that we look at ourselves, we want to be surrounded by people were full of loving compassion and then we just ask the livings, every small creatures, small cats, dogs, as small as small birds, small insects, they all want this loving compassion, they all want to be surrounded with kids or any another animal, they all want full of loving compassion similarly.

If we make ourselves be a loving compassion person, then we become a person who everybody want to be surrounded or who everybody want to be a friend around. So let’s say about motivation for much more or less scale to help ourselves, to help our family, to help our friends, and the big scale, you have this class, to make ourselves a loving compassion person to help many other people who seem to be around, so this point motivates ourselves, then we start with small meditation on about the motivation.

We all have these qualities, inner qualities, the wonderful and beautiful qualities like loving, kind and compassionate nature, we all have within us. Not only that but we experience it quite often, yet it’s hard to say, it’s hard to pull it out in the words and it’s hard to just explain with clear-cut unless you are familiar with some of these. Check with clear explanation, I mean, there is enough qualities of loving compassion. Each and every moment of movements in this world is because of love and compassion.

A farmer is working in the field because he or she loves their kids or parents. People are working in the office because maybe they want to take care of their family, again, there is a love toward their family behind. People do some exercises and a bit of rest, again they love themselves, they love their body. I would say that every movement that a being with the consciousness takes should be motivated love toward others or toward love from themselves. Even when people get angry because they love themselves, people fight because they love someone. Suppose somebody saying something wrong to you, then you get angry, then you might say something back, again, that is motivated by the love toward yourself because you love yourself, so that’s why somebody saying something wrong, you don’t like it so you want to say something back.

This love and compassion is such a wonderful quality that is very important to know it clearly, so that we can enhance it, we can improve it, we can generate it.

So in Buddhism we talk about love and compassion toward all the sentient beings. That is the way we can eliminate anger, we can reduce the selfish mind and also we can reduce many other small emotions which comes along with the love and also help us to distinguish what is the love and what is not. So we can reduce those which are not then we can enhance those which are.

So let’s go one by one then it is gonna be easier. First, let’s go with love.

What is love

Now it comes to love, different people have different point of view regarding that. So one thing for sure is that we all love ourselves. Yes, it’s is also pretty much sure that we love our family, we love our friends. Now, it comes soon, whether you love all sentient beings, then is questionable, this is a big question, we did not know what that love is. Even the love toward the family or ourselves, what we think might be mixed up feelings not just love but that could be a lot of attachments, bursting, expectation this and that, so there could be lots of other emotions attached with the love and we think that all the whole scenario is love but in actual it is not.

So then the question is “What is the love?” The love between a couple, between a mother and a child, a child and a father, a love between the friends, are they all same or not? Now again I’m sure that many people see it a bit differently. “Oh, they love between friends, they love between mother and child, is different”, so it’s again a big mistake. The love is all the same, whether is between a couple, whether is between a mother and a child, whether is between friends, love is all the same. So to say that love is all the same, I should say what the love really is then. So love is desire to see the object happy, is what meant by love.

We get to know it, it’s quite easy, we all experience this but then we get it clear-cut, we are able to know it quite enough from deeper sense with the experience

We just think we love our parents, and if the love is to see them happy, and the love of parents is the desire to see our parents happy, if you truly wish to see your parents happy, it means that you love your parents. If you truly wish to see a small insect happy it means you love that insect. If you truly wish to see your friend happy, it means that you love that friend. Again, it is between the couple if you truly wish to see the better half happy, it means you love that person.

Now if you truly put too much expectation: “Ah you must do that to me or she must do that to me because I love her.” No, if you’re thinking of that man then you see more like a love than an expectation, that is not a clean or pure love, but you have an expectation.

Let’s see a mother and a child or a father and a child, the father says that: “ Oh I love him, I love my child, so he should do this, he should do that.” So it’s not just a love, if you love your child, the child has to do nothing, but if you love the child, then the same, you have an expectation that the child has to do this and that because according to that expectation. So similarly if you love a person and the same time you think the person should do this, should do that, it is not just a love, you have an expectation as well, so this is a whole different thing.

 Some people say that: “Oh I care about that person so that person should also care about me, because that how the love should be.” Not really! You love that person just mean you want to see that person happy.

I saw a small video a long time ago, the child say: “Oh I love my parents, so my parents should kiss me.” Not really! I mean no materialistic thing is needed to be there in words, in the person loved, a person in person, it’s just a desire to see the person happy. Then the kid say: “Oh I know that my parents don’t love me because they don’t kiss me, this and that…” No, love doesn’t mean that, the person you fulfill whatever you reach it. Nothing to do with that! The simple words that love is just a sort of desire to see the object that you love happy.

That applies to those like a person or a being, if you say: “I love pizza so what should I do to make pizza happy?” No that doesn’t go with those things, just the love between human, because pizza don’t have the feelings or the mind to feel happy. Some people say that: “ I love plant”, yes the definition can apply to that as well. You love the plants, you water them, you take care of them.

There is a thing that is going on internet saying that “Buddha is sly” that I really have no idea, saying that “if you love flowers, water them, if you like flowers you might wish to pluck them”. If you love flowers you might wish to water them, that make sense. I am not saying that is exact Buddha words, but I would say that the theory is true, if you really love the flower more like you should water the flowers, it is a such loving them.

There is another story that a person was in love with that woman, but that woman was in love with somebody else, so the person let her go with somebody else that she liked. That is really a very good example of love.

In my neighbor village, this is incident in a family, the parents, they want the kid and his wife to be at this place, but the kid resist to stay at one another place, so the parents agree, that is really love. In majority of families in Ladak, the place where I am, the parents want the kids to stay with them so the kids can take care of them, this is the so-called “parent-child” and this how to call over here.

I think there is a love at the same time a bit of expectation and a bit of attachment to see the kid around all the time. But it is quite nice if they raise the kid just one side, no expectation at all, they raise the kids, when the kids grow up, the kids go away make their own life, and the parents also, they live their own life. There is the different side of it, I would talk there is a pure love that doesn’t involve the expectation.

If a person love you, that the person should meet that, the person should do this and that, those are all expectations, can be desires, can be a lot of different other feelings involved. So after all, this is what the love means?

Love is the same whether it is between you and a bird, you and another person, you and your parents or you and your partner, or you and your own child. It’s all the same, it is to desire that person to be happy.

What is compassion

The compassion is a different thing, the loving compassion is very slight difference and people often misunderstand the compassion with Bodhicitta. Boddhicitta is one’s mind, it’s Buddha’s mind, Buddha literally means Boddhi and citta is mind. So both often mixed up two things. The compassion and love, it’s pretty much like two sides of a coin.

When you desire to see that person free from suffering, it is compassion. For example the compassion toward a person, it means that you wish to see that person free from suffering. Love is you want to see the person happy. So that is the difference in the way you think. Let see a car crash a leg of the dog, when you see the leg of the dog, you have the feeling that “Ah, may this dog free from the pain or the suffering”, that is compassion.

When you want to see a person happy, for the beginner to generate the compassion, it is nice to see a difficult situation, there is when you can generate the compassion. The love is something that you can generate all the time, even for the beginner, you can wish that person happy all the time or you can desire that person happy all the time. So love is always easier to generate, but the compassion is another aspect, you want to see that person happy, you don’t want to see that person having some difficulties, so from that perspective you want to see that person free from those difficulties, then it becomes a compassion.

It is a same target, but it just a different way, one is just the clear one to wish to see them happy, one to wish to see a person free from certain sufferings, certain problems. But in Buddhism you can generate the compassion all the time because you see and you understand. We see our body itself is a nature of suffering, it is wonderful we need to take care of it but we should not attach to it, because it is not something truly reliable. It is more like we are living in a hut and it might collapse anytime, of course that we have to take care of the hut, but we should not keep too much expectation and attachment to the hut because it might collapse anytime.

Exactly the same way with the body, so in Buddhism from there we can generate compassion all the time toward all the sentient beings or the living beings. This is the difference between love and compassion.

How to generate the loving compassion

How to generate the loving compassion is one important point. We know how to generate love is easier that to generate compassion. Suppose to generate love toward family or friends is easier but then to generate love toward the stranger and toward an enemy is not easy. So let’s talk from that perspective, it can be also easier with the time.

So the first step, people talk about practice of meditation on the love and compassion, it didn’t just happen, not like you sit over there and think of love or you sit over there and think of compassion or say compassion or chant love and compassion, it is not how meditation on love and compassion works.

The way to generate love or compassion is by seeing, the first step should be. You should see a good quality of the person, it can be a stranger, it can be an enemy, but if you want to generate love, it doesn’t matter you have first met not before as long as if you think or if you want to generate love toward that person, try to think, find some positive qualities of this person. No matter how bad the person is, he still bring something for his family, he still taking care of that, he has this quality, he has that quality.

So you’re gonna find some good qualities in each and every being on this earth. So bring up those qualities, remember those qualities, try to find more and more quality. And when you slowly generate love, you can see it or you may have experiences, you may be just worry this stranger, then you talk with this person then you slowly know about the person a bit more. If you know very bad inside of the person, you might not have love toward the person. You ever have falling in love to the person, then you just think how you are falling in love to the person? How you love the person? How you care about the person?

The way is you see one good thing about the person, you see two good things about the person maybe it generate a bit more, you see some good qualities about the person, the more you see the more you feel closer to the person, the more you feel closer to the person the more you feel the person should deserve something good. And that’s how you can generate a desire to see the person happy.

When you become a bit closer, automatically you wish the person to be happy, that’s how the love starts. Again, when you mediate about best quality, thinking about some up quality, a good quality about the person, slowly generate love, because you feel closer when you see a good thing about the person, and then you do this, this thinking in a meditation, you are gonna discover something very nice, you’re gonna discover the rest, the two natures of us, the two natures of human, the two natures of sentient beings. I think I’ve mentioned this once earlier.

When we see some blood, when we see some people fighting, when we see a dog barking, this and that…No, it is not a nice pleasant feeling. That doesn’t go along with our nature. When you see love, kind attitude, when we see some people helping some others, when we see some people bring this and that, something positive, we love it, then we’re closer. They show that go along with our nature so we feel more comfortable. So this is the way we can generate love and the same thing we see the quality which is this and that, it’s one, two time, three time and four time, we get more closer and closer the person.

If we think about the opposite side, anger, suppose they say something bad about you, what do you do? Usually if you  just let the mind go by itself, the mind is gonna a pilot, all negative emotions you think about the person then you feel more anger, it makes you feel like: “Oh that person is so bad”, it is completely way. After a while, all you see, the bad qualities about that person, is not true. Suppose somebody say something wrong, then you try, you like to hear people saying bad about him as well. If you really hate this person, then you make one, another person who also talks the bad thing about him, you enjoy, then you pilot more and more and you exaggerate, then you see the person much more worse than actually.

So it is helpful to meditation or to contemplate on this, is that time to think of positive qualities about the person and you think positive about the world. There are some people they think that the world is so crazy, the one is so bad, aren’t people better now, they are greedy, selfish, dah and dah… So what is the benefits of feeling like that? So you love yourself, you can see the same thing but from a different perspective, of course you love yourself, you wana happy right? That means you love yourself.

There are some people say like: “I hate myself”, that is not true. That person who says that “I hate myself”, but if somebody come with the gun, with dead scary attitude, the person is going to run away, that’s sure he loves himself. If he doesn’t love himself why there is a need to run away? The person who loves himself, he also want to eat something delicious doesn’t he? When you want to eat something delicious, you expect that happens, when you want to watch a nice movie, you expect that happiness how to play the movie by watching that movie, when you wanna listen a nice music, again you expect an happiness. So when the coffee is not tasty, then you have an expectation, now you’ve a disappointment, then you’re not happy.

So when you truly love yourself, then it is very important to surround yourself, feel yourself with positive thoughts. The world is the world, there is nothing mind you can change, yes there are things that you can change, you can do, that is not to think much, but the good people is good people, bad people is bad people, every people have some good and bad qualities or bad qualities are the bad sides. If you think about the good sides, if you make you happy, how much loving compassion comes toward yourself or because of loving compassion that you have toward yourself, it is important to keep oneself on the positive side.

If you’re thinking the world is so crazy, think about wonderful thing in the world. Like if the mothers don’t love their child, we should be able that we should see more people with one eye or make up face this and that, I care that you do something like that.

Until some ages, we sometimes become an older man, and even when we are grown up, sometimes we still becomes an older man, we try to create some bad habits, then we run after that, this is no one uses tongue ourselves, but ourselves. We create some this and that and then you start to develop or meditate on this, then you become more lazy, more lazy, and the end of the day you complain the whole world, because it resist something or you complain yourself because you don’t achieve, at that time you realize, you’re the one have nothing or you have own enemy.

But on understanding, you want happiness, so you should do things that make you happy. Thinking that quality about somebody else or talking something wrong about somebody else this is not something that make you happy. So being any positive quality, still there is things. About those things which make you happy, we keep these are the quality things, the positive things. When you come to family there is nothing much you can do because you live there, specially your mother or your child can live long with that.

So if you’re thinking like 80 percent of negative of these persons, think about the 20 percent, it gives you happy or also it maintains that nice relation. So if you have that nice relation because your thought concentration on the 20 percent positive, that is the hope that you can influence on these persons. If you think about the 80 percent that situation may not be bad but you still get angry because you all involve in that 80 percent, you can’t contact anymore because you are already full of those 80 percent of the negative about these persons.

What I am saying like now at least we know that we love ourselves so we should do things, we go according to the love of oneself

How to reduce the expectation?

Now that is the second part, the difference and how to generate. Now how to reduce the expectation.

I think I have a question, it also goes along with that: “How do you end anger, desire with meditation?” A very good question, that is the third point that I talk to share

How to reduce the expectation, of course we love ourselves, and we love others like family, friends and generally we love everyone in one sense, and if you are practitioner, you should be loving all living beings. Buddha gave three-four reasons.

We come to deserve, you ask yourself do you deserve happiness? Of course, everybody think yes I deserve happiness, I deserve fair, I deserve positive, I deserve freedom, I deserve dah dah and dah. If you deserve all these things, you think that you deserve all these things, everybody think they want to deserve all these things.

At the same time if you love somebody else, it’s wonderful, then again if you repeat, insist to expect that, sometimes if people do expect much more than it deserves fair, sometimes people expect as he does, but the person don’t have feeling at all. Again, we expect a lot from like materialistic thing, like you have a nice form, you say: “Oh next year I wanna use this form or next year I wanna give this form”, again that is exact expectation. As long as expectation, you love yourself why you create a roof of glass? Creating expectation is a mind like creating a roof of ice, it is exactly the same thing, you never know as long as you have the roof of ice. It’s gonna melt, it’s gonna trouble you with all those risks, and if the sun has not been fair enough then you’re gonna make the edge reason, you never know the fault in your head or it is more like building a house at the edge of mountain then the ground is not really stable or that could be a landslide, then there is a big rain and the end could happen.

Creating expectation in the mind is exactly like that. There is no disappointment at all, when you don’t have expectation. We don’t create any expectation. Suppose you get a couple of coffee if you expect that this coffee is very delicious, again you created the chance, no you literally throw stone on the sky, if the stone back in your hat if you’re lucky then maybe the coffee is nice, if the coffee is not nice, then this disappoints, even fool like few seconds why do suffer other disappointment. This is a choice that you can choose not to throw the stone to the sky, then you shouldn’t throw, if the stone back on your hat, so creating, having expectation is exact like that without expectation, drink a coffee, it is nice, you still enjoy. So what does it mean not to have expectation, you can enjoy the coffee without expectation.

If you don’t expect from your friend to give you or bring you a gift, for example, if you expect, maybe the friend have some  fewer the time or busy, dah, dah and dah and he doesn’t bring a gift, and then since you expect, you have disappointment. If you don’t expect, then the friend doesn’t bring, you don’t have any suffering, you don’t have to worry or that is not disappointment. If you don’t expect plus and the friend bring a gift, then you can enjoy.

If you build a house on a very unstable place why don’t you build on a stable place? Why does it build a house on the slope place where there could be a landslide? I would say there is without expectation, there is not disappointment, in our daily life we expect like full of expected things or you expect the nice or you expect the friend arrive before you, you expect it happens this time, you expect it disappears this time. Do all the things without that more like expectation, you literally make your deal much more nicer.

You might forget to bring a gift to someone else, you might forget this, you might forget that, so you think of back, the person also might forget, let’s say our tour, to make a life much more simpler.

I don’t know about America, but in India, specially around in the Indian traditional marriage, they have a list of expectations, my uncle should do that, my aunt should do that, my father should do that, my mom should do that, this and this relatives … he might or she should bring these gifts for my marriage, there is a book of expectation in the head.

Even 70 percent of that expectation is fulfilled, the 30 percent will still create a problem. Now that 30 percent destroy you, you might have a wonderful marriage, in the 70 percent might be over-expectation, but 30 percent you haven’t had, when you miss those people who are pretty be in the 30 percent, you are not happy, you just create the suffering in your head

There is one more question: How can separate yourself from pain that often go with your compassion?”

That is a good question, expectation to recover, it again is a problem. Now with the compassion, the wisdom is important, in such case, I‘ve got the question. I saw a person right falls from a train and cut both legs, I saw in 2010, then it was a disturbing seeing, I set some prayer, there is nothing much the one could do. Our sitting at the chair falling down, I haven’t seen the person falling but people reciting that person falling down. There is the chain in Indian train, people pulling the chain and the train stop after 30-40 seconds, I don’t know, I pulled the chain that is what we can do, this was very disturbing, very sad. I thought the person still there died, then they call the chain, there was a being nary this and that, people could rush to the hospital, I‘d not follow in because I were in the train. But still this is the thing that we can do and there are lots of things that we might not be able to do.

If the thing that you cannot do, what the point of void, then you do what you can. When you cannot do anything, then there is no point of being void or suffer. So think of this again and again, it sets a sort of a way generally in your mind where you automatically follow when such situation arises, and in such situation you’ve not much the pain.

You have compassion, you strongly desire that person free from suffering, is there something we can do, do! If you have time, give time! If you have some knowledge, share, whatever they need. But besides that, there is not in the realm you cannot do much then you’re worried, having pain is not sort of the situation. Give yourself helping mentally, physically, so that maybe you can save that energy to help somebody else in the future. So if you think about it again and again in daily practices, then this creates a sort from a map, a sort of a channel, or a part or a root, a way to think, because of the situation, your mind will follow those patterns. This how thinking works when it comes to our mind, when it comes to our consciousness.

That is situation of the practitioners in the mountains, they reduce the anger, sometimes they create the situation, it seems this happen, it seems that happen, what answer can a person do? By creating some extreme cases, such situation anger doesn’t help, anger just destroys the situation, anger just worsen the situation, anger just take away a bit of my mind, this and that. So this kind of technique, this kind of force, really create a sort of pattern, away and the past, then the person gets anger and acts on. If my before like ten second, one second, or just a flash, gone, because that is how you have been practiced, that is how you have been trained.


Expectation is throwing much stone on the sky, building a house on the ice, creating a house in the slope that could be a landslide, or you make your roof of the ice, this is one I saw in one blessing dream, I saw people making a house and then the roof like ice, what a point, the roof won’t be there until the summer. Anyway expectation exact the same thing, like for example, parents, I don’t know there but here child-parent country, parents have lots and lots expectation in the child.

In situation of having expectation, train the child do not to take care of you, but take care the old age in need, this and that, so this can help many more people. Train the child to be compassionate, even if you help you, you have some difficult time, then the child have compassion nature, the child can help anybody else who are in need. By understanding that is better from the anger, it is very important to reflect on it again and again and to train yourself to see the world and to take the world without expectation.

Compassion Seed
Noted down from a Dharma Talk by Lama Nawang Kunphel on 09 May 2021 which was organised by On The Road Yoga