Through meditation and mindfulness practice, we become more familiar with how our minds work - meaning that we begin to notice how we are always creating stories and concepts about who we are and what is happening to us. We notice how easily our hearts and emotions can be stirred by our mental scripts, and how changing the mental story can change how we feel.
When we see how much of our pain is caused by our own thought patterns, we can develop compassion for other people who are suffering like this, as well as ourselves. We can see with wisdom and clarity that most other people are struggling with the same afflictions that we have, although it manifests in different ways. We can use compassion to bring ourselves out of the mental stories that are constantly looping in our minds and come face to face with the human condition as it is.
Studies have actually shown that meditating on compassion and incorporating it into your life can help to decrease anxiety, conflict, implicit bias, mind-wandering, pain, and post traumatic stress while promoting calmness, resiliency, emotional awareness, cooperation and feelings of connection (which is key to overall health and wellbeing!)
As we live compassionately, we are living in harmony with the rest of existence. The world we live in is interdependent and increasingly connected - we are ALWAYS existing in relationship to others, and influenced by and connected to a greater whole. Compassion helps us EXPAND far beyond our tiny selves. It helps you to bring others AND yourself into your own heart. Compassion is not only and acceptance but an EMBRACE of our shared sacred experience of this precious life.
In Metta (Compassion) meditations, Buddhists repeat the following mantra:
May all beings be safe
May all beings be happy
May all beings be healthy
May all beings live with ease
The quality of compassion is essential on the path towards wellbeing, and we can cultivate it on our cushions and in our everyday interactions - towards ourselves, others, and our world.
Let’s Embrace the Heart Space Together ~