When we look at mother-beings and see how they really are—quite unhappy, having a lot of problems, growing old—we naturally wish to relieve their unbearable feelings, and this wish takes a form of unbearable compassion. We are afraid that this will be an unpleasant experience for us, but there is a difference, Professor Thurman explains, between compassion and empathy. Once we feel the suffering of others together with them, we wish to get rid of beings’ suffering and think how to make them feel happy in the midst of their frustrations or dissatisfactions. And we make a heroic resolve or determination, that we will help them to be free of suffering.
This episode was recorded on October 27, 2015 in a class taught by Professor Thurman.