The heart of meditation--the thing that brings it alive--is compassion. This is not an ordinary compassion but one that is developed and expanded in parallel with wisdom that arises through meditation. Without that essential foundation, other practices are pointless. Fortunately, the mind can be trained in compassion, and the mind thus trained is fertile ground for the practice of the Great Completeness (Dzogchen), which is considered the pinnacle of spiritual practice by many in Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness the Dalai Lama here teaches the Great Completeness simply but thoroughly, using as his reference a visionary poem by the nineteenth-century master Patrul Rinpoche to show that insight can never be separated from compassion. Through practice of the Great Completeness, we can access our innermost awareness and live our lives in a way that acknowledges it and manifests it. The wisdom and compassion that arise from such insight are critical, His Holiness teaches, not only to individual progress in meditation but to our collective progress toward peace in the world.
The Heart of Meditation
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How training the mind in compassion for other beings is directly related to--and in fact a prerequisite for--the very pinnacle of Buddhist meditation.