Love and Compassion
Scroll to the bottom of this page for more articles and meditations on Love and Compassion.
Sharon Salzberg, in her article Developing the Compassionate Heart, asks "What would happen if we looked at ourselves and all of the different things that we see and did not judge any of it?"
The answer to Sharon's question is of course: Love and Compassion. This is what we experience when we let go of all judgment, blame, criticism, bitterness, condemnation, yearning for revenge, etc. etc. Once we drop all these mental attitudes, we discover that what is left is compassion -- compassion for oneself and for others.
What is Compassion?
Most definitions of compassion encompass a feeling of wanting to relieve suffering -- or to look at it from a positive perspective, to want all beings to be happy and at peace. However, to attain that state of mind one must drop all of the aforementioned attitudes.
To make it easier to feel compassion for someone, you might consider putting yourself in their shoes. I am reminded of an Elvis song:
Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes.
The Beginning of Compassion
To be compassionate, one starts by seeing through the eyes of the other. Understanding what people have been through often helps us feel more compassion for them and their situation. It does not mean we approve of their actions, but rather that we can understand. From that perspective, we can desire healing and well being for them.
The articles in this section will assist you in tuning in to the place within you where love and compassion reside. Once you've touched that dimension within yourself, you'll discover that it is a wonderful place to be. After experiencing moments of true compassion for yourself and others, returning to your previous stressed and judgmental state of mind is uncomfortable to say the least.
Perhaps a good place to start is with Doreen Virtue's Heart Healing Meditation as well as B. Alan Wallace's process and article on Compassion for a Suffering Person.We have many years of "training" to transcend -- consequently the journey to compassion may be a long one. Or rather, it is one that is ongoing.
Osho said (and I paraphrase) that enlightment is an ongoing process. One moment you're enlightened, the next not, and the next enlightened, the next not, etc. It's a moment-by-moment choice: compassionate attitude or not... love or not... acceptance or not... Each moment brings a new choice, a new awareness.
All in all, be gentle with yourself, with the people around you, and with the planet. Compassion starts within and radiates outward to Mother Earth and all her residents, two-legged or not.
by Ajayan Borys. Clearing and opening the heart chakra releases emotional blocks and attachments as well as selfishness. When this chakra is not clear, you may experience great ups and downs in your feelings and be subject to emotional drama. You may also be jealous, clingy, and demanding in your relationships...
by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. When you do a meditation on compassion, reflect upon the manner in which sentient beings undergo the experience of suffering. First, in order to have a very strong force of compassion, visualize a being undergoing active sufferings. For example, you could vividly and clearly visualize...
by Michelle Levey. How do we integrate our spiritual practice into our daily life and professional work? How do we really bring it alive in the world, make it acceptable to our friends, co-workers, and clients? How do we celebrate our interconnectedness in our work and in our relationships in the world?
by Nicki Scully and Mark Hallert. In order to be most effective in any intentional act of healing, co-creation, or transformation, all Planetary Healing work starts from and is threaded through the heart center. True wisdom is perceived from the heart. The Heart Breath practice will...
by Brandon Bays. Emotions are the entryway into the infinite. They are your route back to your self, and they provide an easy access to the peace that is already there, calling you into your very essence. You might like to start by finding a quiet space where you can sit without interruption...
by Doreen Virtue. Every person has suffered pain in some relationship, and this pain causes us to fear love. Yet because love is the essence of life, this fear causes us to lose touch with life's true essence. When we are afraid of love, we are literally afraid of being ourselves...
by B. Alan Wallace.
The meditation for the cultivation of compassion: begin by bringing to mind a person you know who is suffering adversity, whether physically or mentally. Bring this person to mind as vividly as possible, and picture the whole situation. Let a yearning arise for this person to be free of suffering and the...
Feel the sun brightly shining overhead, warming the atmosphere as if it were noon on the most perfect June day imaginable. Feel the earth underneath, green and rich, soaking up those golden rays of light, and reflecting back the radiation commingled with its own healing energies...
You can sit in your chair or you can sit in whatsoever posture you feel to be comfortable. Then fold your hands together in your lap, with the right hand underneath the left hand -- the position is important because the right hand is joined with the left brain, and fear always comes from the left brain. The left hand is joined with the right brain, and courage comes from the right side.
by Orin and DaBen.
As I breathe in, I breathe in love. I draw in love from everywhere in the universe. Love flows in through my breath. Love flows to every part of my body carried on my breath. I open to receive love.
by Osho. If hate arises for someone or against someone, or love arises for someone, what do we do? We project it on the person. You project your love or hate or whatsoever upon me. You forget completely the inner center of your being; the other becomes the center.
by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.
Here is a powerful healing meditation to help you lose your fears about love and to cleanse your heart chakra. You may want to tape-record this meditation with soft background music, so you can easily listen to it once or twice a day.
by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.
When I was little, my mother used to ask me if I would jump out the window just because my friends were doing it. The question made me mad, but she was trying to teach me an important lesson about life. Learn to think for yourself and listen to your heart, or you're likely to get into trouble.
by Andrew Weiss.
Tonglin practice is rooted in the breath. If you can breathe in and out, you can practice tonglin. The essence of the practice is to breathe in the suffering of another person and to breathe out loving-kindness, compassion, and healing. As we breathe that healing out, we are making the greatest gift we...
by Sharon Salzberg.
Certainly there are injustices to be named in this world, and hate-filled situations to be changed, and inequities to be remedied. There is appropriate treatment to be demanded, without prejudice or fear. But can we do these things without destroying ourselves through anger?
by Sharron Rose. As you practice these exercises, simple gifts of faith, charity, patience, gentleness, and kindness will fill your life. A new understanding of the needs and concerns of others will develop and your heart will be filled with spontaneous feelings of generosity, love, and compassion.