Nan Huai-chin

One who is awakened to the Tao doesn’t need any encouragement to be compassionate. I sometimes hear people say that they believe everything about Buddhism, but they just can’t be so compassionate. They all have this idea that being compassionate means crying about every little thing that’s even remotely sad or touching. That is not compassion; that is some sort of imbalance of the nervous system or weak liver or kidney energy which causes one to easily feel moved or shed tears. One with real compassion and bodhicitta has hoary eyebrows and fiery eyes. Compassion and bodhicitta are the might and ire of a great king who brings peace to the land. In the language of those who worship the Immortals, it is called “inside saint, outside king.” Such a one has the heart and wisdom of a saint but functions in the world as a king or great leader. In Buddhism, the heart or substance is Tao, enlightenment, prajna, and so forth. Bodhicitta functions in the world as great compassion, loving all beings and helping to liberate all beings. It is not sitting all alone in a temple in the woods or being completely aloof from all others.