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Compassion is characterized as promoting the aspect of allaying suffering. Its function resides in not [enduring] others’ suffering. It is manifested as non-cruelty. Its proximate cause is to see helplessness in those overwhelmed by suffering. It succeeds when it makes cruelty subside, and it fails when it produces sorrow.
-Buddhaghosa, “Visuddhimagga”
From “365 Buddha: Daily Meditations,” edited by Jeff Schmidt. Reprinted by arrangement with Tarcher/Putnam, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.

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