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WHAT WE SEEK IN OUR HEART OF HEARTS


When we see someone who is addicted to alcohol or suffers from anorexia, we might think that once things become so serious, we can do nothing more to help them. Yet we hear from specialists that those who seemingly cut themselves off from the people around them actually seek physical affection—they desire to be held because they feel so weak.


The Buddha tells us in the Lotus Sutra that he “knows the deepest workings of the hearts and minds of all living beings, fathoming them without hindrance.”

There is often a disconnect between what people say or do and what they seek deep within their hearts.

Though we intend to be nice to people, aren’t we unintentionally unkind to them? Even though we know we must do what is right, don’t we allow ourselves to become lazy?


No one is utterly devoid of a conscience. We must not judge people only by their outer words and actions without making an effort to see how deeply they are suffering, even when they unintentionally end up doing the bad things they know they shouldn’t.


If you cannot first take a long, hard look at your own heart, the empathetic compassion that allows you to share the suffering of others will not arise. Without that compassion, you won’t be able to help liberate anyone.


Nikkyo Niwano

Kaisozuikan 9, pp.36-37

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