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Suffering and Compassion

The Third Mind Training of Dzogchen


People around the world are experiencing all kinds of suffering. To create an approximate subjective experience of the suffering they encounter, imagine feeling an intense craving for food, clothing, and material things.

If you see a person suffering cultivate an internal experience, as though you yourself are experiencing the suffering. Generate compassion towards that sentient being.

We spend our entire lives preoccupied solely with the eight worldly concerns (pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, and fame and infamy). We think we need something in order to be happy. When you get one thing, you’ll need something else and something else.

Meditate until you feel sad and dejected. You feel as you want to save all the sentient beings from suffering.


Don’t feel sad only about human beings. Think about animals. How much suffering they encounter. Domesticated animals, such as horses, yaks, goats, sheep, cattle, and so forth, are all tortured by having an iron bit put in their mouths and being ridden long distances. Cows, chickens, and pigs being tortured and killed.


When you are experienced in meditation, just hearing (or seeing) the suffering of other sentient beings causes you to generate an intense feeling of compassion for all the sentient beings in situations similar to your own. This, coupled with the courage that you now have to give away your own happiness and take on the suffering of others, instantly purifies your negative karma.


Contemplate on the sufferings of the 6 realms of existence:

  • Hell - extreme hot or cold, the torment of your own intense anger and hate.

  • Hungry Ghost: Great craving and eternal starvation.

  • Human: Frustration, consumed by their desires.

  • Animals - ignorant complacency and dullness.

  • Demi-Gods - Fueled by ego and aggression, jealous or warring gods.

  • Gods: Pride

You should accumulate virtuous thoughts, even those that seem insignificant and pass your time doing only what is wholesome and virtuous. No matter how much virtuous karma you have, avoid becoming satisfied with yourself or trying to calculate how much you have. Do not stop doing good things.

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