In this practice so many things come up. We are faced with situations and circumstances where we are not sure what to do. We wonder about compassion and "Why we don't have it and what we can do about it."
A lot of this stuff comes from practice. Through practice things get clarified. We all have things to work through. Each one of us has their own path to walk. No one can walk that for us. Don't relie on any teacher. Those teachers were walking the same ground you are and most of what they learn't came not from any person but from themselves and their practice. All those patriarchs and Zen Masters are giving adivice. They are showing you how to do it, but not what to do. So we may say things like "I can't seem to have compassion for this person." Well, compassion comes naturally through practice, so the best thing to remedy that is to keep sitting. We can say that compassion comes through practice and that you can feel compassion for the ways that people cause suffering through misunderstanding and being attached to ideas and what not. But this means nothing without your ass on that Zafu. When your ass is on that Zafu you can experience this for yourself. You can say we are learning to be human beings. The kind of human beings that enjoy their life, have compassion and sadness, and joy. Who are content, in a way, with what they have and learn to enjoy it,but these words can't express it and can't give it to you. Only the cushion can do that. Only you can do that.
Eventually we start to understand th teacher's words more and more, not from an intellectual viewpoint, but we feel them and understand them and they are beautiful.