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Karunadarshin - A new order member for Triratna Exeter
On 2nd May the former James Hedge was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order, in the context of the four month ordination course at Guhyaloka, becoming Karunadarshin – he who sees and understands with compassion.
Here is what was said of Karunadarshin at the ceremony:
The ex-James is a painter and print-maker which means that he spends a lot of time paying attention to, observing and looking at things. Especially in nature this can be, for him, a very immediate way in which he can see and understand, in some measure, the nature of things – their changing, transitory, insubstantial and beautiful nature. He also brings a lot of empathy to his craft and what he observes, which I believe is obvious in his work, and he has commented that a painting is more accomplished is he is able to regard the subject with empathy. We’ll know that Bhante speaks of the importance of developing empathy for the natural world.
Ex-James has a great deal of empathy, kindness and compassion and this finds expression in his work with the disadvantaged, as a community art-worker, as well as in his friendships. So he becomes Karunadarshin, he who sees and understands with compassion.
Karunadarshin also enjoys reflecting on the Dharma and especially on conditionality and the nidanas. To whatever degree this is effective it will deepen his empathy and compassion. Understanding and compassion are inseparable and he will need to bear in mind that the ultimate purpose of reflection is to generate compassion and that the process needs to come from the heart and lived experience.
Karunadarshin is at his best when he is seeing and understanding with compassion and his task is to unfold this evermore fully.