4-30-20: Dharmette: Anukampa (4 of 5) The Continual Act of Care
4:07PM Apr 30, 2020
So I'll continue this morning, the fourth Morning to talk about the Buddhist idea, the Buddhist Buddhist teachings or discussion of anukampa. And I tentatively translate this word as care. And in doing so, I'm connecting. I'm bringing into Buddhist language in the new word English word, which is very rare I don't really know recognize, it's ever really been used. Certainly not prominently in the translations of the Buddhist Buddhist teachings from Pali and many other the translations coming out of Asia in Buddhism. And, and why English translators haven't used chosen the word care is a topic in itself. And I don't know the answer to that. But by translating a new compiler care, I am connecting it to consciously with a very simple and ordinary word common word used in the English language, which may be, as I think about it has a kind of humbleness to it, but that it's really central and poor edit. It's really important in so many central places in our lives. We talk about health care, if you go to a hospital, there's all kinds of departments that have to do with care. There's the intensive care unit, there is palliative care. There is spiritual care where chaplains chaplains work that we use the word and then caregiver. The word caregiver in English certainly can be as someone who's a caregiver health care giver, but a caregiver is also like a someone who offers childcare, or a caregiver of the elderly in nursing home care. a caregiver can be someone who is unpaid. Some just simply someone who at home a family member has become a caregiver of someone at home who needs care. And the English word care in the sense of care that caring for someone's often can mean to care for someone's needs. And those needs are physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, social. We have all these needs as human beings and into care and to offer care for all of what who we are. And what's I think nice for me about the word care and this comprehensive way in which it's used is that is not just caring for people, because they suffer. And not just caring for people because they have the potential of suffering and to help them not suffer. But there's a much broader sense of caring for people because they're people, they're humans and we have needs we have possibilities and, and we want to kind of live in a world of mutual care. And this idea of care, caring carrying, is so central to human culture, human societies, but it's often forgotten as people become adults. I've known people who, only when they had children themselves, were surprised to realize that their parents did the same for them. The tremendous amount of caregiving that's offered to a baby caregiving That's offered for a child, there's a going up, hopefully that's what's offered. And, and then sometimes that the, you know, the tables are turned. And when parents become elderly, then it's the children who are suffering or the caregivers who are offering care in return. And a lot of this goes happens quietly within families. It's not big public news that that the people that couple down the street, have been staying up all night caring for their crying sick baby. You know, it's a remarkable act of care that this happens in all kinds of ways.
And, and we care for people, by you know, when they're, when they're happy, we provide them with more opportunities. One of the great ways of caring for our children as they grew up in our communities are all the people who volunteer to be sports coaches, soccer coaches, and Baseball coaches and volleyball coaches and, and it's offering care and creating a healthy environment to grow up in. So the word care, I see as being broader in, in, in broader in application broader and concern than the word compassion. And, and this is what we seem to seem to see in, in the teachings of the Buddha, that as important as compassion is in Buddhism. It's not in ancient teachings of the historical Buddha. The word Karuna, often translated as as compassion is really reserved for a very deep meditation practice and a state of mind a state of heart that it's radiant and abundant and expansive. But that itself without word is not chosen, not used in terms of expressing the motivation for doing good in the world, supporting people in the world and the world. that's used for that is a new company. And as I've been saying, it has another meaning than than just caring for people suffering and orienting around avoiding causing suffering. It's, it's caring for people's welfare and happiness, a broader term. The Buddha never talks about cultivating on a compound. He seems that he, he just assume that it's there. And in that sense, the Buddha in the sutras seems to suggest that under compose what's there, when when has abandon ill will and hatred. When abides it with anukampa for the world, the Buddha says, When abides having anukampa, having care for the world, when one has a bent and Ill ill will and hatred. So This idea that we're letting go of something, ill will hatred, you know, those are big terms, powerful words, but they also represent very, very subtle small ways in which we may be that ill will that might be there or even hatred in little frustration or irritation or annoyance, we have people or with ourselves, the slightest little kind of, it can be there in aversion to people and to things or to ourselves criticalness even. And when when the mind has, or the heart is really shed, its ill will, its hatred, its aversion, its irritation, its tendency to complain, really become quiet and open from this, then it's then that uncomfort for the world arises in this sense and accompany is not doesn't have to be not doing something It's not conceiving and thinking about May all beings be well May all beings be free of suffering. It's almost like the absence of something allows this part of our heart to shine to be here. And that's certainly my experience that the more I've shed the more I've settled, the more I've been open through meditation practice, and quieter and become more sensitive to it. There seems to be arising. Care, that sometimes takes the expression of compassion sometimes takes the expression of loving kindness or friendliness, but that the caring This is more fundamental, the caring sense of caring the capacity to care, the feeling of tenderness of resonance with people and that movement is broader, more simple. And it's kind of a humble thing because it doesn't come from active thinking and reflecting. And so in the hospital when someone is a caregiver in a hospital, someone comes into ICU and is sick. We don't ask or maybe even expect that the health worker has to love the person who's there, or has to have lots of compassion for the person, they might have lots of compassion. But we do expect them to care for the person. And, and it's
possible to care and be caring for people for whom one does not have a particular strong feeling of friendliness towards them. There's not automatic, or that one does not hasn't cultivated are touches into compassion or reflects on compassion. care can be a much simpler, more direct activity that doesn't require as much from us as compassion or friendliness or loving kindness does. I don't want to diminish the value of compassion and loving kindness. They're fantastic and powerful. Parts of human life, but they do require a little bit more from us. And to and to have it in the forefront all the time and calling it in different typical situations might be for some people more difficult to do than to simply have a very simple, ordinary, caring this to care for what is there, so much so, so care is so much part of human life so central that,
that maybe we are not human beings, but maybe at the heart, we're human carryings that maybe care is so fundamental to what it means to be a human being. We're social creatures, social animals. We are. We depend on the care of others. They depend on the care of us in some way. That Maybe care is the most fundamental thing of a life. Maybe what if instead of looking at human beings as either, you know, you know, maybe it's more fundamental than the ideas of that we either matter or spirit, that there's that there's some essence inside of us. It's a spiritual essence or some, we're not spiritual. It's kind of a material kind of aspect of human life, that this kind of criteria and that approach, maybe, is certainly not the kind of way in which the Buddha talks about human life. But what if what's fundamental, is not some essence not some core aspect of who we are, that is a thing. But rather, the fundamental aspect of what it means to human being is caring is to care. And over and over again, we see this in the teachings of the Buddha directly but also mostly indirectly, he expresses care. He's caring is caring about the relationship between people. So much of the teachings of the Buddha can be had been interpreted to be ethical in nature, because they have to do with caring relationships, taking care of the how we relate to people, that we relate to people so we don't harm them, and we don't harm ourselves. The Buddha said that one of the motivations for not harming people is not Karuna compassion, but for in this in his teaching, at least, the motivation for not harming people is in fact a new compound, this care and this caring, and perhaps caring is little bit of an activity in action. And that goes along to the Buddhist tendency to understand Human beings in terms of their actions, not in terms of some fundamental essence, you know that we are this way. But as if anukampa is an activity and action more fundamental who we are. It comes from letting go of all the things that get in the way, including conceit, including self preoccupation, including, you know, it's almost as if the undercover carrying can be or this is my experience is not something that I do. But it's something that is done. out of me out of my heart. When I'm most free, when I most settled, most calm, most open, most present The experience anukampa is not a thing. It's the activity of being human. When we're most grounded and centered and quiet, it's simple. It's humble because it's not connected to the conceptions and ideas of who we are. It's not a thing, but it is something we can allow for, to allow for the hearts capacity to care, to let ourselves become human care, care, carryings human cares. We become the character caretakers and caregivers over the world, not because we should not because it's an obligation, but because it's the fundamental functioning of a liberated and free heart and mind. system so to care to care for the world. They care For our relationships to others it's a beautiful thing. And I hope that I don't have to convince you. I what I really hope is that you're inspired in meditation practice or in just the practice of real mindfulness, to discover underneath the layers of reactivity and fear and tension, anxiety, desires, attachments that we might have,
that they're about there is there exists a functioning and activity and movement and action of flow out of us, which maybe is a new company. And maybe you'll choose a different word to translate it besides care, other than care, and that's fine. You know, we don't not sure exactly how these words are going to be translated. What's important is this fundamental Till humble, beautiful qualities of being that we allow to operate from us from this deep dharmic place inside. So thank you, and for the chance to talk this way and think about it and, and we'll continue with one more talk on anukampa tomorrow. Thank you