‘The power of great compassion’ by Prof. Stephen Jenkins

‘The power of great compassion’ by Prof. Stephen Jenkins

“Compassion blesses the compassionate with freedom from stress and negativity.”

On Friday 10 February, Nalanda Centre was priviledged to host Professor Stephen Jenkins for a special lecture on “The power of great compassion”.  Prof. Jenkins, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Humboldt State University, shared that compassion is a definitive quality of Buddhism and is uniquely paired with wisdom, having studied the topic of compassion for over three decades.

The seed of compassion exists within each of us; it drives our hope and actions for others to be free from suffering.  Whilst many people may immerse themselves in helping others, it is important that we start by having compassion for ourselves.  It is only when we are at ease with our life and our decisions, that can we extend sincere acts of kindness and love to others.

The evening service commenced with paying homage and taking refuge in the Three Jewels.

Sis. Buddhini hosted the service and introduced Prof. Stephen to the congregation.

“The desire for others’ happiness also leads to one’s own happiness.”

To a question on practising compassion at the office when managing difficult staff issues, Prof. Jenkins advised that compassion does not equate to being nice.  If we find that our intention is motivated by anger and vengefulness, we must refrain from carrying out the resultant harmful actions.  But if our intention is for the welfare of others, then our actions and speech will carry the values of kindness and compassion.

We extend our appreciation to Prof. Jenkins for coming to Nalanda to deliver this lecture, and providing to us new perspectives on this core value.  May we live every day with express intentions of harmlessness to all beings.  May you be well and happy.

Youths were particularly interested in asking about communicating, which is widespread and common in our daily lives due to social media.

Devotees took the opportunity to enquire about this important topic of compassion.