Care and compassion in brief


  • Care and Compassion are natural qualities~  
  • Both can be cultivated~
  • Anukampa is a “quivering of the heart”~
  • Karuā is an intentionally developed mindstate~


Karunā and anukampa

Compassion (karuā) can be defined as the capacity to be with suffering and the wish to act to alleviate it – without succumbing to distress. Early Buddhist teachings speak of this “quivering of the heart” when a person commits to the path of practice, to non-harming. This natural sense of care (anukampa), is broader than compassion, and it is nurtured by practicing ethical behavior and by meditation.

Many practitioners find care and compassion develop organically through the process of mindfulness meditation. Many also find it helpful to cultivate a compassionate state of mind (karuṇā) directly, often as one of four facets of Buddhist love (loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity).

Compassion is how the awakened heart meets suffering. Mature compassion entwines with wisdom, bringing wisdom into relationship. It serves as a powerful resource in difficult times. Care and compassion are beautiful qualities of the human heart that can be cultivated through acts of body, speech, and mind.


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