Compassion fatigue

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
befriend
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Compassion fatigue

Post by befriend » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:31 am

Has anyone experienced compassion fatigue? i volunteer and also help my parents and it makes me happy in moderation but it's taxing on me or taxing on my defilements I'm not sure. Before I do something good I have to give myself a pep talk about how Buddha fed himself to a hungry tigress and all the sacrifices he made for eons of existences. Should I do more of the brahma viharas?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

cookiemonster
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by cookiemonster » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:46 am

befriend wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:31 am
Has anyone experienced compassion fatigue? i volunteer and also help my parents and it makes me happy in moderation but it's taxing on me or taxing on my defilements I'm not sure. Before I do something good I have to give myself a pep talk about how Buddha fed himself to a hungry tigress and all the sacrifices he made for eons of existences. Should I do more of the brahma viharas?
I am reminded of the Sedaka Sutta: we must first watch after ourselves, in order to properly watch after others. If I felt fatigue, then I first check if have been deficient in cultivating the Eightfold Path in myself. On the flip side of the same coin, if I properly and persistently practice the Eightfold Path, then things like compassion for others would naturally result & endure.

chownah
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by chownah » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:01 am

Before I do something good I have to give myself a pep talk about how Buddha.....
I think that compassion is not the same thing as "doing something good".

We can do something good out of pity or out of expecting something good in return for examples....
We can feel compassion and do nothing when we see that people are suffering and there is nothing that we can do about it for example....

Maybe it would be good to focus your discernment on the differences between compassion and doing something good.
chownah

rightviewftw
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:15 am

Sometimes i get lazy, irritable, cruel and stingy. When this happens i just feel like shit so try to look at what aspects of development i have been neglecting and try to fix those leaks, usually it is a number of things that need correcting. realizing that something is wrong and putting forth right effort is how it generally starts.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

paul
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by paul » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:06 pm

A good example of where compassion wasn't exercised with wisdom is Musk's uninformed attempt to help the Thai cave rescue. Compassion has to alleviate the situation it's aimed at and it takes a lot of precise information to do that.
Last edited by paul on Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

befriend
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by befriend » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 pm

My intentions should be coming from a place of compassionate thoughts rather than just doing good. That's really helpful thank you kalyanamittas 😀
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

rightviewftw
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:26 pm

you could also consider that you are doing good things as a support for your own mind and development, so you are helping yourself by helping others.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by Crazy cloud » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:52 pm

befriend wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 pm
My intentions should be coming from a place of compassionate thoughts rather than just doing good. That's really helpful thank you kalyanamittas 😀
When you let go of intentions, the only thing left is doing the right thing

Thoughts are not to trust!
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

denise
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by denise » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:08 pm

hello all....i haven't volunteered for about a year....just plain physically beat down....must need some sort of non heavy labor kind of volunteer work....but then too comes the emotional labor associated with working with the public in general...doable but sometimes really tiring.... :zzz:

santa100
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by santa100 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:40 pm

befriend wrote:Has anyone experienced compassion fatigue? i volunteer and also help my parents and it makes me happy in moderation but it's taxing on me or taxing on my defilements I'm not sure.
We can be smart while being compassionate, meaning, if you experience fatigue while doing it, that means there could be better and more effective way to do it. Teaching a man how to fish might takes a bit more work and time at the beginning, but over the long term, he can become self sufficient, as opposed to fishing with him every day for the rest of your life.

binocular
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by binocular » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:36 pm

Reading up on "idiot compassion" can help.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

dharmacorps
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:41 pm

Ah yes I have heard this term a lot. My wife is a therapist and this is discussed a lot in her circles. From a dhammic perspective, I would recommend equanimity meditation.

chownah
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by chownah » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:34 am

paul wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:06 pm
A good example of where compassion wasn't exercised with wisdom is Musk's uninformed attempt to help the Thai cave rescue. Compassion has to alleviate the situation it's aimed at and it takes a lot of precise information to do that.
I don't think that "compassion" used in this context has anything to do with the "compassion" mentioned in the suttas.

Consider this passage (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .wlsh.html):
"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate release by compassion? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness... equanimity accompanied by compassion... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful, clearly aware or, by passing utterly beyond all perception of objects, by the going-down of perceptions of sensory reactions,[6] by disregarding perceptions of diversity, thinking 'space is infinite,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of infinite space.[7] I declare that the heart's release by compassion has the sphere of infinite space for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.
There seems to be no connection the scenario you mention and this use of "compassion" in the suttas.
chownah

paul
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by paul » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:35 am

This is the instruction of the Buddha to a layperson regarding right action:

"And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings,
...abstains from taking what is not given...
from sensual misconduct..."
---AN 10:176

"The positive counterpart to abstaining from taking life, as
the Buddha indicates, is the development of kindness and compassion
for other beings. The disciple not only avoids destroying
life; he dwells with a heart full of sympathy, desiring the welfare
of all beings. The commitment to non-injury and concern
for the welfare of others represent the practical application of
the second path factor, right intention, in the form of good will
and harmlessness."---"The Noble Eightfold Path," Bikkhu Bodhi.

chownah
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Re: Compassion fatigue

Post by chownah » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:03 am

paul wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:35 am
This is the instruction of the Buddha to a layperson regarding right action:

"And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings,
...abstains from taking what is not given...
from sensual misconduct..."
---AN 10:176
Thanks for the great excerpt. I'll quote the entire section on skillful bodily action but do take notice that I am breaking it up into paragraphs:
Skillful Bodily Action
"And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action?

There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings.

Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them.

Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action.
I made the paragraphs as a way to show that in this sutta being compassionate for the welfare of all living beings is a description of one who abstains from the taking of life. Again, I don't see any connection with the scenario you brought and this use of "compassionate" from the suttas.

I think that the use of "compassion" common today is not the same thing at all as how "compassion" is used in the suttas. I think that "compassion" as used in the suttas springs from the knowledge that all beings are subject to suffering in all of their worldly situations and endeavors.....including the individual in which the compassion arises. I think that "compassion" as used in the suttas is intimatly connected with the realization of the four noble truths.

EDIT: as bodhi points out:
The commitment to non-injury and concern
for the welfare of others represent the practical application of
the second path factor, right intention
which I think indicates that commitment to non-injury and concern for the welfare of others is a function of intention (kamma) rather than compassion.

chownah

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