Buddhist Acts of Compassion
Pamela Bloom


This collection of real-life stories reads like an antidote to a world that sometimes feels cruel, overwhelming, or just plain rude. In a sense, this could be called "Chicken Soup for the Buddhist Soul," with each story offering a stirring example of how we can spread loving kindness and compassion throughout the world. Editor Pamela Bloom collected 40 first-person stories of compassion as told by Buddhists from all over the world. We hear the story of a monk who welcomed a dying, underprivileged child into his home, giving the boy nine months of peace and attention before his death. A civil rights protestor tells how she learned compassion and love for the "opposition" from a jail cellmate.

In the introduction Bloom explains that readers do not have to have any affiliation with Buddhism to appreciate the underlying principle here--the fact that acts of compassion not only relieve the suffering of others, they relieve our own suffering. "Loving sentiment begins to arise out of our deepest connection to all life," she explains. As a result, acts of loving kindness "become appropriate to the situation without leaving any messy imprint of the 'do-gooder.'"

--Gail Hudson

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