A. Suppose that you unconditionally helped someone who is in need. There can be two scenarios.
The first is that you want to show off or are secretly proud because you think you had compassion for a suffering person. The moment you thought that you had compassion, your compassion was not compassion any longer but an illusion. This is because you created a new illusion of compassion concerning your act.
The second is that you never had the idea that you helped someone because you took it for granted, just as if you had fed yourself because you felt oneness with the other person. Then you can be said to have had true compassion because you didn’t have any thought of compassion. In this case, your kindness is not an illusion.
We should know how to do nothing, or how to do without doing. This means that we should not leave any trace in our mind after doing something, just like a flying bird never leaves any trace in the air. Everything is both the truth and an illusion at the same time. Your act becomes an illusion at the moment you label it.
So, the Sutras say that to do good without doing good brings about immeasurable merit.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway