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  • The Tibetan word ‘nying-je’ took me by awe as I came across it yesterday in the unputdownable book ‘Tibet, Tibet’ by Patrick French.

    Translated simply as compassion, the word has a wealth of meaning that the author finds difficult to convey succinctly. It connotes love, affection, kindness, gentleness, generosity of spirit and warm heartedness - all those things I now look for in me and find very little of, perhaps they are hiding under large boulders of 'fear' 'hurt' 'shame' and others? The word is also used as a term for sympathy and endearment.

    The book says : “For a Tibetan, ‘nying-je’ is a principle that has to be adhered to even at times of hardship and provocation, as an expression of shared suffering.” I am not surprised with this and utterly happy to have as an example a Tibetan friend who to me is an embodiment of this word.

    I like to believe this is an oath of a soldier of a different kind.

    I reckon it's perhaps easier to get into a battlefield and slash a few throats or abuse in anger but it takes a heart mightier, bigger and stronger than a solider's to forgive and endear suffering.
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