What is the role of compassion in our practice?

I had a conversation with my friend Ray about this. He felt that compassion is the fundamental building block for our practice, that meditation combined with a strong meditation practice is the groundwork for any study, philosophy, or intellectual understanding of the dharma to take root.

I think he makes a pretty good point. How can our minds be clear, unless are hearts are open?

Recently the Dalai Lama gave a talk in my neck of the woods at Smith College. He stated that without compassion the intellect is dangerous. This makes me think about how I want my practice to be rooted in compassion; I think it all begins and ends here. Compassion for ourselves, and for others. The study and Zazen we do should be rooted in it.

Of course I missed the Dalai Lama's talk but, no big deal I was at work. . .which is always a great opportunity to practice compassion.

Much Metta,