When wisdom has been completely and thoroughly achieved, then it has to relate with something. It has to relate with its own radiation, its own light. When light begins to shine, it reflects on things. That is how we know whether it is bright or dim. Therefore, when light is very brilliant, when it reflects on things properly and fully, we know that there is some kind of communication taking place. That communication is expressed by the intensity of that wisdom light shining through. That communication is traditionally known as buddha-activity or compassion.
Compassion is not so much feeling sorry for somebody, feeling that you are in a better place and somebody is in a worse place. Compassion is not having any hesitation to reflect your light on things. That reflection is an automatic and natural process, an organic process. Since light has no hesitation, no inhibition about reflecting on things, it does not discriminate whether to reflect on a pile of shit or on a pile of rock or on a pile of diamonds. It reflects on everything it faces. That nondiscriminating reflection is precisely the nature of the relationship between student and teacher. When the student is facing in the right direction, then the guru’s light is reflected on him. And when he is unreceptive, when he is full of dark corners, the teacher’s light is not fully reflected on him. That light does not particularly try to fight its way into dark corners.
The Vidyādhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987), from the Rev. Danny Fisher