How to Enhance Compassion

What to do if we find it hard to be Compassionate

Compassion is a virtue, which means, “to suffer together”. Put that way it does not sound very appealing! However in all the major religions compassion is talked about as being a virtue to be developed.

It is deeper than simple empathy, and often leads to an active desire to help another person and to assist in changing their situation.

So how should we develop compassion? 

For the Buddhists compassion is at the core of their teachings. In his book “The Art of Happiness” His Holiness the Dalai Lama suggests a meditation on compassion.

Meditation on Compassion

·      He suggests we begin the meditation by visualizing a person who is suffering greatly

·      Think about their misfortune, the physical pain, the emotional pain and suffering for a few minutes

·      Try then to relate that person’s suffering to yourself. Understanding they have the same desire for safety, happiness etc. as you

·      Allow compassion to arise

·      Resolve to help that person in some way

·      With great intent focus your mind on that resolution

·      End with the mind in a loving state.

When I did this practice I found the first part very hard, as I seemed to merge with the energy field of the person I was imagining. I felt nauseous in my stomach and felt my crown chakra completely collapse. This made me a bit unsure as to whether I should continue, but I did, as I wanted to test the practice.

I observed my aversion to feeling the feelings of suffering in my body, and then I began to cry a little as I felt the sadness of the person I was thinking about. Tears can be the heart chakra being activated, so I let them come.

Soon a feeling of compassion arose. I deeply wanted to help the person I was thinking about, and a strategy soon formed in my mind.

I then pictured the strategy being easy and very successful, and the person happy.

It is my prayer that this practice help not only the practitioner doing the meditation, but also the person being prayed for and that in holding a vision of them happy and fulfilled they will be assisted to move into this new vibration.

Enjoy! And please let me know your experiences with this meditation.