How to deepen your capacity for compassion

Compassion, as we noted before, begins with recognizing and giving ourselves the same kind of compassion that we would give to others that we see we can help in their time of need. Learning to be compassionate is a process that can be difficult in the simple moments of the day and maybe easier when there are large disasters taking place.

At the time of writing this post, there is a massive storm that is devastating the Houston, TX area of the United States. Every person that sees the results can feel empathy and may take action. Right here in our community, we may see a traffic accident and not give much thought to the impact on that one individual’s life. Even as a mere accident without too much physical damage to the cars or the people, the emotional impact and how it may affect their ability to get to work may have more of an effect than we may think about.

There is a meditation practice that I would like to share that in your time of reflection or meditation each day you may find will help to deepen your compassion for others. At some point in your meditation say in your head the following words:

For yourself say twice:

  • May I find relief
  • May I find peace
  • May I be at ease

Then think of someone in your life and apply the same mantra to them saying it twice:

  • May they find relief
  • May they find peace
  • May they be at ease

You can follow by taking these thoughts to the world saying them twice:

  • May all beings find relief
  • May all beings find peace
  • May all beings be at ease

These are just a reminder to ourselves to be compassionate with ourselves, those close to us and then the world. Saying these words will build our capacity for empathy and compassion, and you will find your heart growing for taking action to use the gifts you have been blessed with to help others in their need and to be kind to yourself.

To quote the Dalai Lama: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

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