Jack Cornfield tells us; "Work with compassion practice intuitively. At times it may feel difficult, as though we might be overwhelmed by the pain. Remember, we are not trying to “fix” the pain of the world, only to meet it with a compassionate heart."
in most of my classes this week, we will explore compassion. I hope to see you on the yoga mat, and if not, please enjoy the contemplations and meditation exercises below.
Here is to a beautiful week filled with compassion!
CONTEMPLATION OF THE WEEK: COMPASSION
Start by examining your feelings when thinking about suffering. Don't sensor yourself, look at this openly and ask yourself freely:
Do I want to suffer? Do others want to suffer and where can I see this demonstrated in others lives or behaviors? Do I wish anyone else to suffer? Can I wish to be right without wishing for someone to suffer by default? What is so special about me, that I protect myself and not others? Can I forgive my enemies for being imperfect humans, just like me?
You may wish to jot down your thoughts on these questions in a journal.
6 Simple Steps to Compassion Meditation
- Sit in a soft but upright posture: spine is straight, hands rest on the things; arms, shoulders, jaw and neck are at ease; eyes are closed or gaze is downward
- Gently bring focus to the heart region of the body, breathing in and out from this area; notice any sensations you may feel in this region of the body
- Begin by allowing loving, accepting and kind
feelings toward yourself. Notice and release any judgmental thoughts that may arise
- As you breathe in and out, silently repeat
the words: "May I be free of distress and suffering"
- Continuing to breathe in and out, repeat the words, substituting "I" with an individual's name, an animal or situation you wish to feel compassion for. "May _____ be free of distress and suffering."
- Come back to the heart region of the body. Reverently and lovingly place your hands over the heart. Stay with the heart for a few more moment, noticing any sensations that arise