Tag Archives: compassion

The Barbarian

In terms of secular western thinking, the word “barbarian” often conjures images of a cruel, brutish, merciless savage who, armed with a club or other means of violence, is intent on wreaking havoc. At the least, the word is associated with a person who may be from an undeveloped, uneducated area or country and regarded as lowbrow, crude, and vulgar.

However, in the Buddhist lexicon, the meaning of “barbarian” signifies something quite different. Rather than a person with sights set upon inflicting mayhem, the Buddhist term is more akin to what westerners think of as a “heathen”, hedonist or non-believer. It refers to “jungle mentality”, one who has the body of a human but the limited view of a jungle animal. Continue reading

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