Compassion meditation is a very specific type of meditation practice. In my earlier posts in this series, I’ve written about the basics of meditation and the peacefulness and balance that come from this time to sit within the silence.
Compassion meditation is a meditation that has been practiced by the Tibetan monks for thousands of years. Studies have proved that Tibetan monks practicing compassion meditation generate unusually strong and coherent gamma waves in their brains. This demonstrates the quantifiable change that is available for those that choose to practice this meditation.
Developing the art of feeling compassion for your friend, neighbor and enemies is something that could move the world to resonate with peace in the same manner. Countries could show compassion for their allies as well as those that challenge them.
The Dalai Lama practices this type of meditation regularly. He strongly believes this to be the change agent that could take our world to a new spiritual level.
This is the core of compassion meditation. It is having empathy and compassion for others in your life. It is having the ability to show this deep level of compassion without judgment. It can be easy for many people to show compassion for someone suffering because of the loss of a child or a tragedy that might have fallen unexpectedly upon another.
But unfortunately, compassion is often shadowed by judgmental attitudes. If someone thinks that a person has caused their own suffering in some manner by using poor judgment or making bad decisions then their compassion is pushed into the background as judgment moves forward. For example, they may feel that financial troubles were brought on by someone’s actions. So then they rationalize that they deserve what they’re going through or because of former alcohol or drug addictions, they somehow deserve the health problems they are experiencing. However, this is the reverse of compassion meditation.
True compassion is when you can simply observe another’s suffering and open your heart to the place where you truly wish that person could find happiness and a release from pain. Feeling true compassion would allow you to feel it for each person that suffers no matter who they are, where their suffering came from, or how they may be dealing with it.
Remember that the first and most important step in this process is to show yourself compassion. How many people do you know that truly show compassion without judgment to themselves? This means there is no negative self-talk or mental and emotional put-downs – that deadly self-talk spoken silently in your brain day in and day out.
What would be the end result of this practice? Having the ability to think about other people’s suffering and not just your own helps put it all into perspective. Practicing compassion for others will not take their pain or suffering away, but it will prevent anyone else’s judgmental feelings from adding to the person’s burdens. If they begin to feel the support and compassion of others, the healing process can begin for all!
So how do you practice compassion meditation?
It involves silently repeating a phrase that shows your intention is to move from judgment to caring, from dislike to understanding, and from a feeling of isolation to one of connectiveness. It is the practice of gathering all your energy and attention in one focus as you repeat each phrase. You can begin with a 10-minute session and progress to the point where you are easily mediating for 30 minutes at a time. If something else moves into your thoughts, just notice it and let go of it as you simply return to your phrase.
Please join me tomorrow as I post the 10 steps to practicing Compassion Meditation. Begin thinking of someone that you would like to practice this mediation on, perhaps someone that has caused you some interruptions with sleep at night or that you’ve had feelings of anxiety with.