There are two types of Compassion – normal Compassion and Great Compassion. We all have normal Compassion - we Love our families, if our son is ill we want to free him from that illness. That is normal Compassion. It is difficult to get Great Compassion, to really want to free all Sentient beings from Suffering. First you have to think this, and then practice it and then finally you get it.
There are also two kinds of Suffering – one is real and the other is result-Suffering. For example, if you get ill, feel sad or hungry, then that sad Feeling is just result-Suffering; the real Suffering is inside your Mind - that is Samsara. Attachment, negativity and bad Karma – these are real Samsara, real Suffering. Negative intentions are real Suffering and the cause of Suffering.
When you get Great Compassion then you know what real Suffering is and you want to free all Sentient beings from that Suffering, so you will recognize negative thoughts and negative Karma (as) real Suffering. So you want to help beings and you give them something, but you can’t liberate them from real Suffering. What to do? You can think that you have a human Life, you can study, teach, meditate and so then you can meditate on the Mind of Enlightenment.
If you want to practice and study the Mind of Enlightenment, you need cause and effect. Recognize all Sentient beings as your mother and remember their Kindness and try to repay it. Then your Heart will become warm and you will feel Love and have a strong intention to get the Mind of Enlightenment and then Compassion will come, something like this.
We said that you recognize all Sentient beings as your mother. That doesn’t mean that they are all your mother and father now; it means that when you are born, you need a father and a mother, but you have been born many, many times before, and so all Sentient beings are your mother or father. We talk about three rebirths – past, present and future, and so in this way you are connected with all Sentient beings. When you think that you are connected with them all as father or mother, then think what they do for us, how they look after us, how kind they are. That is how to think of all Sentient beings as your mother and father.
How do we know that we have past, present and future Life? We know about this Life, but there is an example for the others: when you go to bed, you sleep and have Dreams, but in fact you are asleep. So that could be from your past lives, what you did, some karmic traces. That grows up and our Mental Consciousness sees this seed or Bag-chag. That is how Dreams come. The Mind can’t die or be born – it always exists; therefore we say there are past, present and future lives.
So if you remember the Kindness of all Sentient beings, you want to repay it. If you are a great Master or Dzogchen practitioner, you could repay it, but for me, for myself, I am always following my Mind and so I can’t concentrate, so how could I repay their Kindness? Maybe I could give something or help a bit, but that doesn’t really help. Therefore you must practice and meditate in this Life, and then when you achieve Buddhahood, you could give Teachings and help. So you yourself promise and then meditate and practice and study Religion.