Compassion which Focuses on Living Beings

Compassion which Focuses on Living Beings

 

GNYIS PA LA GNYIS, SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA DANG, CHOS DANG DMIGS PA MED PA LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’O,,

 

This brings us to the second section of the offering of praise, where we bow down to great compassion as we make the division into its components.  Here the author bows down first to that form of compassion which focuses upon living beings; and after that to the form of compassion which focuses upon things, and upon the way in which beings are not even there.

 

 

[,DANG POR NGA ZHES BDAG LA ZHEN GYUR ZHING,

,BDAG GI ‘DI ZHES DNGOS LA CHAGS BSKYED PA,

,ZO CHUN ‘PHYAN LTAR RANG DBANG MED PA YI,

,’GRO LA SNYING RJER GYUR GANG DE LA ‘DUD,]

 

[From Entering the Middle Way:

 

First they want a person,

Talking about “me”;

And then they crave for things,

Talking about “mine.”

 

I bow down to that thing

Which is compassion for all beings—

Those who revolve here helplessly,

Like buckets on a water wheel.]

 

 

DANG PO NI, NGAR ‘DZIN GYI ‘JIG LTAS NGA YIR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTA SKYED PAS, SEMS CAN ‘DI RNAMS NI DANG POR TE BDAG GI BAR MNGON PAR ZHEN PA’I ‘JIG LTA’I SNGA ROL TU, NGAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTAS RANG BZHIN GYIS YOD PA MIN PA’I BDAG RANG BZHIN GYIS YOD DO SNYAM NAS, NGA ZHES PA’I DON ‘DI NYID DU STE LA BDEN PAR MNGON PAR ZHEN PAR BYED DO,,

 

We begin with the first.  The version of the view of destruction[1] where we hold to a “me” triggers the version where we hold to some “mine.”  Thus all suffering beings first (that is, before they give rise to the view of destruction where they begin wanting what is “mine”) give rise to the view of destruction where they want a “me,” talking about something which is a thing that is itself—which exists “in reality.”  This is a view of “me” which thinks to itself that a person who could never exist in and of themselves does exist in and of themselves.

 

 

DE’I ‘OG TU NGA YIR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTAS, NGAR ‘DZIN GYI DMIGS YUL LAS GZHAN PA STE DE MIN PA’I GZUGS DANG MIG LA SOGS PA’I DNGOS PO LA, ‘DI NI BDAG GI’O ZHES BDAG GI BA LA BDEN PAR CHAGS PA BSKYED PAS,

 

And then subsequent to this, these beings give rise to the view of destruction which holds to some “mine.”  This view focuses upon an object which is different—which is other than—the object which is focused upon by the one which holds to a “me.”  This object consists of things such as visible forms, or the eye itself.  The view which holds it talks about “this” being “mine,” in a way where one craves the idea that what is mine exists “in reality.”

 

 

ZO CHUN GYI ‘PHRUL ‘KHOR ‘PHYAN PA STE ‘KHOR BA LTAR, RANG DBANG MED PAR ‘KHOR BA YI ‘GRO BA LA SNYING RJER GYUR PA GANG YIN PA DE LA ‘DUD DO ZHES PA NI, SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’I DON NO,,

 

Because of all this, all beings revolve here, circle here, like buckets on a water wheel—turning helplessly.  And Master Chandrakirti is saying that he “bows down to that thing which is compassion for these beings.”  The point is that he is bowing down to that form of compassion which focuses upon living beings.

 

 

 

‘GRO BA RNAMS ZO CHUN GYI RGYUD MO DANG ‘DRA LUGS JI LTAR YIN SNYAM NA, DE LA SEMS CAN DANG ZO CHUN GYI RGYUD GNYIS NI ‘DRA BA PO DANG ‘DRA YUL TE KHYAD PAR GYI GZHI’O,,

 

“Now just how is it,” one may ask, “that the lives of beings resemble the mechanism of a water wheel?”  The point is that the ways in which both water wheels and the lives of suffering beings flow are similar—one being the thing which resembles the other, and one being the thing which the other resembles: the thing which possesses a certain quality.

 

 

‘DRA TSUL NI DPE LA THAG PAS BSDAMS PA LA SOGS PA’I KHYAD PAR GYI CHOS DRUG YOD PA BZHIN DU, DON LA’ANG DE YOD PAR PHYOGS GCIG TU BSTAN NA,

 

How are their lives, and the wheel, similar?  The example in the metaphor here possesses six different qualities—such as that of being bound with ropes.  The subject of the metaphor also possesses the same qualities.  Let’s isolate these six for you here.

 

 

KHYAD PAR DANG PO NI BCUD KYI ‘JIG RTEN ‘DI NI [@13b] LAS DANG NYON MONGS PA’I THAG PAS CHES DAM DU BSDAMS PA’O, ,’DI NI ZHES PA NI ‘OG MA LNGA LA YANG SBYAR RO,,

 

(1) The first quality is that this world—in the sense of the beings who inhabit it—are tied up incredibly tightly in the ropes of their karma and their negative emotions.  (For the remaining five, the same wording—“this world”—should be applied.)

 

 

GNYIS PA NI, ZO CHUN GYI ‘PHRUL ‘KHOR BSKOR MKHAN DANG ‘DRA BAR, RNAM PAR SHES PAS BSKYED PA LA RAG LAS PAR ‘JUG PA’O,,

 

(2) These beings depend upon being animated by consciousness for their operation, in the same way that the machinery of the water wheel depends upon something or someone to set it turning.

 

 

GSUM PA NI, ‘KHOR BA’I KHRON PA CHEN PO SRID RTZE NAS, MNAR MED PA LA THUG PA ZAB PAR BAR SKABS MED PAR ‘PHYAN PA’O,,

 

(3) Thirdly, these beings revolve in a well of immense proportions, turning without pause inside an area bounded above by the level known as the “Peak of Existence,” and extending below to the depths of the hell known as “Torment Without Respite.”

 

 

BZHI PA NI, THUR DU NGAN ‘GROR ‘BAD RTZOL LA MI LTOS PAR RANG GI NGANG GIS ‘GRO ZHING GYEN DU BDE ‘GROR NI ‘BAD PA CHEN POS DRANG BAR BYA BA’O,,

 

(4) Fourth, they slide downwards, into the three lower realms, almost automatically—without any special effort of their own.  But it is only with great effort that they are drawn upwards, to the three higher realms.

 

 

LNGA PA NI, MA RIG PA DANG SRED LEN GYI NYON MONGS PA DANG, ‘DU BYED DANG SRID PA’I LAS DANG, LHAG MA BDUN GYI SKYE BA’I KUN NAS NYON MONGS PA GSUM YOD KYANG, DE GSUM GYI SNGA PHYI’I RIM PA MTHA’ GCIG TU NGES PAR MI NUS PA’O,,

 

(5) Fifth, their journey involves three different forces: negative emotions as a motivating factor, in the form of ignorance, along with initial desire and strong desire; karma in the form of fresh karmic seeds and then ripe karmic seeds; and the parts of a resulting rebirth which are imbued with negativity—that is, the remaining seven links.[2]  And yet it is impossible to say with any certainty which of the three has come before or after any of the others.

 

 

DRUG PA NI, NYI MA RE RE ZHING SDUG BSNGAL GYI SDUG BSNGAL DANG, ‘GYUR BA’I SDUG BSNGAL DANG, KHYAB PA ‘DU BYED KYI SDUG BSNGAL GYIS GCOG PA’I PHYIR, ‘GRO BA ‘DI NI ZO CHUN GYI RGYUD MO’I GNAS SKABS LAS MA ‘DAS PA ZHIG GO

 

(6) Sixth, these beings are battered like the wheel’s buckets, for every single day of their life they are assailed by outright pain; by pain in the form of change; and by the pain which pervades every creature’s life.  As such, we can say that there is nothing about these beings’ lives which ever escapes the metaphor of gears turning a water wheel.

 

 

,’DIR KHYAD PAR GYI CHOS DRUG GI SGO NAS CHOS MTHUN SBYAR BA NI, SEMS CAN ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHYAMS TSUL GYI GO BA TZAM ZHIG SKYED PA’I PHYIR MIN NO,,

 

Saying that the two situations are parallel in six different particulars is not simply something that we do to give our reader an understanding of the way in which living beings wander here and there in the cycle of existence.

 

 

‘O NA JI LTAR YIN SNYAM NA, SNGAR THEG CHEN LA ‘JUG ‘DOD PAS THOG MAR SNYING RJE CHEN PO SKYED DGOS PAR BSTAN KYANG, CI ‘DRA BA ZHIG BSGOMS PAS SNYING RJE SKYED TSUL SNGAR MA BSTAN PAS, ‘DIR SEMS CAN RNAMS RANG DBANG MED BAR ‘KHOR [@14a] BAR ‘KHYAMS TSUL BSTAN PA LTAR BSGOMS PAS, SNYING RJE CHEN PO SKYED TSUL STON PA YIN NO,,

 

And why not?  We have already described how those who wish to enter the greater way must, at the outset, develop great compassion.  But we haven’t, at least to this point, explained what it is that a person should meditate upon in order to develop this compassion.  As such, we are now showing how a person can develop great compassion, by meditating upon the way in which living beings wander, helplessly, here in the wheel of life.

 

 

DE YANG BYED PA PO GANG GIS ‘KHOR DU BCUG NA, SHIN TU MA ZHI ZHING MA DUL BA’I SEMS ‘DI NYID KYIS SO,,

 

What is the agent which forces us to turn in this circle?  It is our own mind, completely incapable of peace, and completely out of control.

 

 

GNAS GANG DU TSUL JI LTAR ‘KHOR NA, SRID RTZE NAS MNAR MED KYI BAR GYI GNAS ‘DIR, MI ‘KHOR BA’I SKABS CUNG ZAD KYANG MED PAR RO,,

 

Where is it that we circle, and how is it that we circle?  We circle without the slightest pause, here in the land that stretches from the Peak of Existence down to Torment Without Respite.

 

 

RGYU RKYEN GANG GIS ‘KHOR NA LAS DANG NYON MONGS PA’I DBANG GIS SO,,

 

What causes and factors drive us to circle?  We are forced to do so by our karma and our negative emotions.

 

 

DE YANG BSOD NAMS MA YIN PA’I LAS DANG, DE’I NYON MONGS KYI DBANG GIS NGAN ‘GRO DANG, BSOD NAMS DANG MI G-YO BA’I LAS DANG, DE’I NYON MONGS KYI DBANG GIS BDE ‘GROR ‘KHOR LA,

 

Now negative karma, and the mental afflictions associated with it, drive us to the lower realms.  Positive karma, and the kind of karma we call “unshifting”—along with the mental afflictions associated with them—drive us to the higher realms.

 

 

DE’I DANG PO NI DER SKYE BA’I DON DU ‘BAD MI DGOS PAR NGANG GIS ‘JUG PA DANG, PHYI MA NI DE’I RGYU RNAMS ‘BAD PA CHEN POS SGRUB DGOS PAS DKA’ BA STE,

 

And we tend to slide automatically into the first of these two, taking birth there without expending any special effort.  The causes to bring about the second, though, are difficult to assemble—for they can be achieved only through intense work.

 

 

 

LUNG GZHI LAS, BDE ‘GRO DANG NGAN ‘GRO NAS ‘PHOS TE NGAN ‘GROR ‘GRO BA NI SA CHEN PO’I RDUL DANG, DE GNYIS NAS ‘PHOS TE BDE ‘GROR ‘GRO BA NI, PHYAG SEN GYI RTZE MOS BZHES PA’I RDUL DANG ‘DRA BAR GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,,

 

Remember, for example, the passage in The Foundation of the Word, where Lord Buddha states that those who die in either the higher realms or the lower realms, and then pass on to the lower realms, are as numerous as the particles of dust contained in the entire surface of the Earth; whereas those who die in these realms and pass on to the higher realms are only, by comparison, as few as the particles of dust that remained upon the tip of his fingernail after he had touched it lightly to the ground.[3]

 

 

RTEN ‘BREL TSAR GCIG GI NYON MONGS GSUM GANG RUNG ZHIG GI DUS SU YANG TSAR GZHAN GYI KUN NAS NYON MONGS GZHAN GNYIS ‘JUG PAS RGYUN MI ‘CHAD PA DANG, NYIN RE ZHING SDUG BSNGAL GSUM CHU’I GNYER MA LTA BUS LAN CIG MA YIN PAR MNAR BA RNAMS SEMS PA’O,,

 

At the point where any one of the three negative emotions connected to one round of the links of dependent creation is active, then at the same time the other two groups of links related to negative emotions and belonging to a different round of the twelve are also active; thus it is that the wheel turns without a pause.  And each and every day, all three forms of pain radiate out and pass through every living being, like ripples on the surface of a lake, torturing them continuously.  We have to learn to think about these things.

 

 

‘DI YANG SNGON DU RANG NYID ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHYAMS TSUL BSAMS PA NA, YID LA ‘GYUR BA CI YANG [@14b] MI THON PA CIG GIS, SEMS CAN GZHAN GYI STENG DU BSAMS PA NA, DE RNAMS KYI SDUG BSNGAL MI BZOD PA LAS DANG PO PA LA ‘ONG MED PAS,

 

Consider rather the kind of person who has yet to give any serious thought about how they themselves are wandering through this cycle of pain—and so has yet to experience any kind of mental transformation.  This kind of raw beginner then can hardly reach a state of mind where they can no longer bear the pain of these others because they have turned their attention to the situation that others face.

 

 

BZHI BRGYA PA’I ‘GREL PAR GSUNGS PA LTAR SNGON DU RANG STENG DU BSAM MO, ,DE NAS SEMS CAN GZHAN LA BSGOM PAR BYA’O,,

 

Thus we should do as the commentary to The 400 Verses advises us to: first, contemplate our own situation, and then meditate upon the situation that others find themselves in.[4]

 

 

‘O NA SEMS CAN GZHAN LA ‘KHOR BAR SDUG KUN GYIS MNAR TSUL BSGOMS PA NYID KYIS SNYING RJE CHEN PO ‘DREN NAM, GROGS GZHAN CIG DGOS SNYAM NA,

 

In this regard, the following question may occur to our reader: “Can we inspire within ourselves great compassion simply by meditating upon how others are tortured by these two aspects of life here in the cycle—the fact of pain, and the fact of the source from which it arises?  Or do we need to engage in some other contemplation together with this one?”

 

 

‘DI NA DGRA LA SDUG BSNGAL MTHONG BA NA MI BZOD PA MED KYI STENG DU DGA’ BA DANG, PHAN GNOD GANG YANG MA BYAS PA SDUG BSNGAL BAR MTHONG BA NA, PHAL CHER YAL BAR ‘DOR BA NI RANG GI YID DU ‘ONG BA MED PAS LAN LA,

 

Here in the everyday world, when we see someone that we don’t like going through some kind of pain, it’s not as if we feel that we can bear it no longer; on the contrary, we tend to derive some satisfaction from their problems.  And when we see suffering come to a neutral person—to someone who has neither helped nor harmed us—then we typically simply ignore them.  Both of these attitudes derive from the fact that we have no feelings that these people are beloved by us.

 

 

GNYEN GYI SDUG BSNGAL MTHONG NA MI BZOD PA DANG, DE YANG YID DU ‘ONG TSABS JI LTAR CHE BA TZAM GYIS DE’I SDUG BSNGAL MI BZOD PA SHUGS DRAG PAR SNANG BAS, SEMS CAN SHIN TU GCES SHING YID LA PHANGS PA’I YID ‘ONG SKYED PA ZHIG DGOS PA NI GNAD CHEN PO’O,,

 

When however we see our friends or family undergoing some kind of trouble, then we feel that it is something unbearable to us; and the degree to which we feel this way follows from how strongly these people are beloved by us.  Thus it is crucial point that we must develop, within ourselves, feelings where we cherish other beings deeply—where we feel a healthy attachment for them, and see them as our beloved.

 

 

YID ‘ONG THABS GANG GIS SKYED PA LA MKHAS PA’I DBANG PO DAG GI LUGS GNYIS SNANG BA’I DANG PO NI, ZLA BA’I ZHABS KYIS BZHI BRGYA PA’I ‘GREL PAR SEMS CAN RNAMS THOG MA MED PA NAS, PHA MA SOGS KYI GNYEN YIN PA BSAMS NA, DE RNAMS BSGRAL BA’I PHYIR DU ‘KHOR BAR MCHONG PAR BZOD PA YIN PAR GSUNGS PA LTAR,

 

 

How do we reach this point, where everyone strikes us as beloved?  We see two methods for this described by the Lords of Sages.  With the first, we refer to the commentary on The 400 Verses composed by the great Chandrakirti.  Here we are instructed to contemplate how—over the length of time with no beginning—each and every living being has been our own father, or mother, or other family or friend.  And then we would be willing to throw ourselves into the cycle, in order to free them.

 

 

BDAG NYID CHEN PO TZANDRA GO MI DANG, MKHAS PA’I DBANG PO KA MA LA SH’I LAS KYANG GSUNGS SO,,

 

This particular method has also been described by the great being Chandragomi, and by that Lord among Sages, Kamalashila.[5]

 

 

PHYOGS GNYIS PA NI DPAL LDAN ZHI BA LHA’I LUGS TE [@15a], DE NI GZHAN DU BSHAD ZIN PA LAS SHES PAR BYA’O,,

 

The second approach is that of the glorious Shantideva; I have already elucidated this method in other works, which our reader may make reference to.[6]

DE LTAR SEMS CAN YID LA SHIN TU GCES PA DANG, ‘KHOR BA NA MNAR BA’I TSUL GNYIS KYI SGO NAS, SNYING RJE CHEN PO SBYONG BA LA ‘BAD PA DE DAG GIS NI, ZLA BAS MCHOD BRJOD THUN MONG MA YIN PA MDZAD PA DON YOD PAR BYAS LA,

 

Those who make a true effort at this point to develop the attitude of great compassion—through this dual methodology of learning to cherish living beings deeply, and contemplating how the cycle of life torments them—are giving meaning to the unique offering of praise which Master Chandrakirti has composed here.

 

 

DE LTAR MA YIN NA DE’I MKHAS PAR RLOM PA NI, NE TZO’I ‘DON PA DANG ‘DRA STE, SKABS GZHAN DU YANG DE BZHIN DU SHES PAR BYA’O,,

 

Thinking though that we are some kind of master of this text without this kind of personal implementation of it is like living the life of a parrot that simply repeats whatever he hears.  Remember this, as we go through every other section of this work as well.

 

 

SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJER ‘GRO TSUL NI ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

How it is that we describe this as the kind of compassion which focuses on living beings is something we’ll be covering further on in this work.



[1] View of destruction: In Tibetan, ‘jig-lta, an abbreviation of ‘jig-tsogs la lta-ba; the Sanskrit is satkāyadṛṣṭi.  The full term literally means “the view of the group of destruction”; a typical explanation of this term is found for example in The Precious Vase of Deathless Nectar which Helps Ourselves and Others, by His Holiness the Third Panchen Lama, Pelden Yeshe (1738-1780):

 

The five heaps that make us up are, first of all, something which will be destroyed.  Moreover, viewing ourselves as a “self” is something which depends upon the five of these heaps grouped together.  As such, we call it the “view of the group of destruction”; and its root relies upon nothing other than our misunderstanding (%B9, S12230, f. 6a).

 

Je Tsongkapa’s own close lama—Master Rendawa, Shunnu Lodru (1349-1412)—adds that this wrong view is also given its name because it is itself destructible.  See his Light on the Meaning of The Letter to a Friend, f. (%B@, S@@@@@) {%commentary to Letter to a Friend = BSHES PA’I SPRINGS YIG GI ‘GREL PA DON GSAL, pl480 has a copy; Jiki find and have input}

[2] The remaining seven links: This fifth section is a reference to three traditional divisions within the twelve links of dependent creation, depicted in the traditional painting of the Wheel of Life (in Tibetan, the Srid-pa’i ‘khor-lo).  A group of three specific negative emotions impels us to act; thereby creating karma in the form of two of the links; all of them resulting in the seven stages of a suffering life.  See any of the classical treatments of lines 101-2 of the third chapter of The Abhidharma Kosha, or Treasure House of Higher Knowledge.  A good example would be that of His Holiness the First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup (1391-1474), in his Illumination of the Path to Freedom (%B10, SE05525, ff. 82b-83a).

[3] Dust on the tip of a fingernail: The account is found in the eighth division of Part One of the work—the Foundation of Vowed Morality—at folios 121b-125a (%S18, KL00001-1).

[4] First contemplate our own situation: The reference is not a direct quotation.  In identifying the section and the commentary intended (which Je Rinpoche does himself, shortly), we can first draw on an allusion found in the Lamp for Those of Clear Minds, composed by the great textbook writer of Sera Mey Monastery, Kedrup Tenpa Dargye (%B11, S00021, ff. 13a-13b):

One may ask the following: “Well now, is a person able to come to great compassion only by considering the way in which all living beings are tortured by the pain of the cycle of life; or is some other cause required, in conjunction?”  The fact is that only the one is not enough, for we also require—as a cause—the form of love which sees other living beings as beloved.

This is because here in the everyday world we find ourselves unable to reach the desire that they be freed from pain when we see people we don’t like undergoing some kind of suffering; on the contrary, we feel some kind of satisfaction.  And when we see the suffering of people towards whom we feel neutral, we tend simply to ignore them.

When though we see our friends and family in pain, we do feel a wish that they escape their suffering—in fact, we can see with our own two eyes that the intensity of our wish to free them from their trouble corresponds directly to the degree that they are beloved to us.

Now there are two traditional methods of training ourselves in these feelings of love.  With the first, we train ourselves by using endless forms of logical thinking, where we prove to ourselves that every living being is our mother, and other loved ones—this follows the instructions found in the commentary to The 400 Verses, and Master Chandragomi’s work.  For the second, we train ourselves by learning to exchange ourselves with others, as we see explained in both The Compendium of the Trainings and Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.

A typical commentary to The 400 Verses often utilized by authors such as Kedrup Tenpa Dargye is A Detailed Explanation of the 400 Verses describing the Way of Practice of a Bodhisattva, written by Master Chandrakirti himself.  Here, beginning on f. 42a, we find a description of how each and every being has in fact been our own son or daughter, and why we should love them as such; gaining a concern for them which matches that which we have already reached for ourselves (%S19, TD03865).

[5] Chandragomi and Kamalashila: The relevant citation by Master Chandragomi is identified by several sources.  One is An Entry Point for Those of Great Virtue, A Dialectical Analysis of “Entering the Middle Way” which is a Veritable Treasure Trove of Scriptural Reference and Reasoning which Clarifies Every Profound Point of the Work (%B3, S13000, ff. 45a-45b), composed by the great Jamyang Shepay Dorje (1648-1721).  Another is An Easy Path to Omniscience (%B12, S00464, ff. 127a-127b), by Changkya Ngawang Lobsang Chunden (1642-1714).  Both give the verse as the following, from A Praise of Confession (f. 206a, %S20, TD01159):

The tree of the mind is a thing

That has existed for time

Without a beginning;

Watered, and corrupted,

By the bitter elixir

Of negative emotions.

Nothing could make them

Something which possesses

A sweet and lovely taste;

What use would it be

To touch the tree with a single drop

Of some higher personal quality?

A very useful explanation of the verse is found in A Commentary upon the “Praise of Confession,” written by Master Buddhashanta (%S@, TD01160, ff. 224b-225a).  From this it seems that the point of the reference combines both the idea that we have been all things to all beings over infinite time, and the ineffectiveness of partial or short-term spiritual solutions, such as compassion for others which is not founded in a recognition of our own desperate situation.

An especially pertinent citation from Master Kamalashila along the same lines (there are surely others) is the following, from The First Section of the “Stages of Meditation”:

Think of how undesirable your own suffering is to you, and then consider how others’ pain must feel the same to them.  In time you will reach a point where you feel nothing but compassion for every other living being.

 

When you first start out, practice seeing how your friends and loved ones are undergoing the various sufferings that we outlined above; make this your meditation.

Then try to come to a place of equanimity, where you stop making distinctions between people.  Think to yourself, “This cycle of pain is utterly beginningless; as such, there is not a single creature alive who hasn’t been a member of my own family, a thousand times.”  Use this meditation on the great mass of people, towards whom you normally feel neutral.

Once you reach a point where you feel a compassion towards these neutral people which is equal to the one which you feel towards your friends and loved ones, strive to expand your equanimity towards those people whom you dislike—meditate until you feel the compassion, or similar emotion, just as strongly for them. 

Once you feel the same towards those you don’t like as you do towards your friends and loved ones, then gradually expand your meditation further, until it encompasses every living creature in every corner of the universe.

At some point, your compassion will become one where you wish to free every living being from all discomfort and unhappiness forever, just the same as you would want to do for your own beloved child, if they were in the same situation.  At this level we can say that your meditation is totally complete, and now deserves the name of “great compassion” (%S22, TD03915, ff. 23b-24a).

[6] Master Shantideva’s approach: This would be the teaching known as bdag-gzhan mnyam-brje: seeing that others’ needs are equally important to our own; and then working to fulfill their needs as if they were our own.  See for example Je Rinpoche’s treatment of this subject in his masterpiece, the Great Book on the Steps of the Path (Lam-rim chen-mo, %B13, S05392), beginning at f. 203b.