Sunday, November 28, 2010 By: Suzanne

A Flash of Lightning

When I set out to find books on compassion it wasn't because I didn't understand the concept and needed some guidance. This is the principle by which I try to live my life after all. I would hope I understand what it is. :) No, I simply wanted to know how others viewed compassion in their lives and what they do on an everyday basis to make sure they live by it. So I started with books by the Dalai Lama, because who better to discuss compassion?

I settled on A Flash of Lightning in the Dark Of Night, because the back cover starts with this sentence, "Compassion is the guiding principal of the bodhisattvas, those who vow to attain enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient being from the suffering and confusion of imperfect existence." Wow, that's EXACTLY what I'm looking for! Well, not exactly. This book is a detailed explanation of a chapter from The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva. It's not necessary to have read the original text because the parts that are discussed are given in this book, however I feel there should some kind of prerequisite to this book. I couldn't tell you what that might be but this is simply above my head, and I don't say that often.

It has wonderfully titled chapters like "Carefulness," "Attentiveness," "Patience," "Endeavor," and "Wisdom." I made my way through Carefulness and Attentiveness and am now on Patience. I apparently don't have the patience for this book because I must have gone through the other chapters too quick. I don't remember a thing they say. I'm going to back and read them again.

Until then, anyone know a good book dedicated to the principle of compassion?


Beth Dargis said...

I love to read and I didn't know the Dalai Lama had this book out. I will have to check it out.