A being who has realized their inherent Enlightened nature (a buddha) has a natural function to help free beings from suffering. This is a natural reaction from a buddha. It is not a choice of conscience, it is not thought out nor planned.
You see, in Buddhism, practitioners of the Way, are taught to cultivate loving kindness. We are taught to consciously be aware of helping all beings, and we have lots and lots of thoughts created to help us in our goal. But, this is only needed when we feel we are separate from suffering beings. A buddha, an Enlightened being, understands that all beings suffering is their own suffering, as there are ultimately no distinctions between all beings.
Just as one hand will, without thought or question, come up to protect the other hand that is being attacked, by a dog, for example, a buddha will help all beings who are suffering. A buddha doesn’t think of ‘saving all beings’ even, as he knows there is no difference between himself and all beings.
He enters the suffering world and is naturally a doctor. He helps those who are ill. He understands there is no difference between himself and others and therefore he bears no signs of Enlightenment. He could be standing next to you in the store, or she could be sitting on the bench at the train station.
There was a popular song back in the 1990’s that had a verse something like: ‘what if God was one of us? just sitting on a bus’.
Buddhas are all around us.
So, how does a buddha sitting next to us on a bus, apparently doing nothing, help end people’s suffering?
Buddha’s do not have plans. They live as the weaving fabric of the cosmos…
Now, on that bus, you may never even have noticed a buddha. What if, on that bus, each day you take it, more and more of the passengers are buddhas? Then one day, you are sitting on a bus full of buddhas. Would you notice? There would be no idle chatter. No gossiping. No loud music. It may be a little un-nerving! ‘What are these people up too?!’ Must be no good! Hahaha.
Those who are Free tend to frighten and unnerve those who are not, but also tend to draw them near. It is in this drawing near, where the Dharma is turned.
Water does not think it needs to turn to ice at 32 degrees F, it is just its inherent natural function. A buddha does not think it needs to save all beings from suffering, she just does it.
Let us keep out eyes and hearts open, maybe you will sense a buddha today!