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Book: Buddhism in Five Minutes

Chapter: 63. Is Non-attachment Compatible with Compassion?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40805


Both non-attachment and compassion are important qualities in Buddhism; but, to the outsider, they can seem to pull in opposite directions. “Non-attachment” seems to point toward indifference to the world or withdrawal from life. Compassion, on the other hand, seems to speak of active engagement with the sufferings and pain of humanity. In the Buddhist world view, however, the two are utterly compatible with each other. Not only this, both are essential on the Buddhist path toward awakening/enlightenment.

Chapter Contributors

  • Elizabeth Harris ( - elizabethharris) 'University of Birmingham'