Finding Your Path to Compassion

It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” – Dalai Lama quotes (Head of the Dge-lugs-pa order of Tibetan Buddhists, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, b.1935)

The only thing that psychologists agree on is that people are different. That said, each of us must find our own way from judgment to compassion. Your way and my way may not be the same. However, the goal of finding self-compassion and compassion for others is the same.

Directions:

Using today's blog post, Finding Compassion When You Don't Feel It, this practice will focus on finding your own path to compassion.

  1. Read each of the 4 paths to compassion and notice your reactions to each.
  2. Decide to experiment with one of the four paths during the next week or two.
  3. Each time you feel yourself going into even a little bit of judgment, first, take a breath and slowly let it go. Then, use the ideas for the path you have chosen as written in this week's blog post.
  4. Capture your reactions by writing notes about your BEAST.
    • (Behavior)
    • (Emotions)
    • (Assumptions)
    • (Sensations)
    • (Thoughts)

For this internal review, getting in touch with your assumptions is crucial. Our judgments are spawned by our assumptions, most of which are unconscious. To become aware of your assumptions, as yourself a question such as, “What kind of person is this who would do something like...?”

However you answer the part about what kind of person, will be a tip off to assumptions you are making.

  • 5. After 1 or 2 weeks, choose a second path from today's blog post and repeat using that path and the ideas that grow out of it.
  • 6. After experimenting with a few paths, look at all of your notes as well as reviewing your experiential memory.
  • 7. Decide which path to compassion fits you the most and continue practicing it.

As always, please write in about your experience using this practice.

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