Seven-round Compassion Contemplation

Meditation class student/J.D.

1)Contemplate why anger is called a “poison” in Buddhism and how the seven-round compassion contemplation can help us clear our anger.

Anger poisons the mind and clouds our judgement, hindering us from seeing clearly and making wise and compassionate decisions. This in turn generates negative karma, hurting others as well as ourselves. Seven-round compassion contemplation helps us to use compassion in our decision making, generating positive karma to benefit oneself and others.

2)Who are the seven groups of people we dedicate the merits to?

The seven groups of people we dedicate merits to are elder dear ones, peer dear ones, younger dear ones, elder foes, peer foes, younger foes, and neutral ones.

3)Why the merits of meditation is superior in this mundane world?

The merits from meditation help others to be able to meditate and set their mind on the bodhi path. This is far superior than material merits, which may be exhausted due to external conditions. With the merits from meditation, the conditions will come together to allow others to purify their minds.

4)In your experience of practicing the seven-round compassion contemplation, are there any people you feel difficult to make dedication to? How would you overcome the difficulties?

I have many people who I find difficult to show compassion towards in daily life. The exception is during meditation, because I can see clearly the true nature of all sentient beings and empathize with the suffering that we all go through. Meditation is like the mental kung fu training for my daily life when I must discipline myself and remind myself of the dharma and implement the practice when interacting with others.

I am extremely blessed to work in customer service because I get to interact with many people everyday. This allows me to practice all 6 paramitas. I try to treat people kindly and help as much as possible to find the best solution for them, despite their attitude. I know how important my actions through body speech, and will , can affect someone’s attitude when they leave the post office.

I always dreaded going to the post office because of the long lines. I always work fast, friendly, and efficiently, so that people may continue with their daily life in a positive attitude and spread good karma. I also hated going into the post office because of the rude clerks. I vow everyday to try to be kind and helpful. I take difficult customers as a challenge, and try to influence them so they can leave in a better mood. I still need practice, because some customers I sometimes try to avoid because I know they are impossible to please. I am constantly reminding myself of my practice because often the slightest thing can make me frustrated when I am trying to keep the line moving and people are moving slow or not able to speak english, or wasting everyone’s time. This karma they take with them influences countless sentient beings and could have a negative or positive impact on our society. Someone could be stressed or having  a bad day, and the last thing they need is to deal with a clerk with a bad attitude. I try to spread joy and compassion everyday, and with customers who resist I try to be clever in helping them, or at least do no further harm.

5)Why do we need to practice “beholding the friendly and hostile equally”?

To help us understand non-duality we must try to be compassionate towards all sentient beings. This is essential in understanding true emptiness and eliminating our false ego. Holding grudges clouds our judgement and makes it hard to see other sentient beings as fundamentally equal.

6)What are the benefits of compassion cultivation?

The benefits of compassion cultivation are endless. When we cultivate compassion we dissolve or false ego, which allows us to see more clearly. When we see clearly with insight and wisdom we can find endless solutions to our daily problems. Compassion is a great tool to help us generate vigor in our practice. When we truly want to help others we are energized and it becomes effortless.