by Anna Krecicki
According to Buddhist traditions and enlightened spiritual teachings, compassion is the profound understanding that love is the core of every being and that we all are created equally. Fundamentally, compassion is the recognition that we all are the same. It is the awareness of a deep bond between us and all other beings. Compassion is more than just a sense of sympathy or showing concern for others. It’s not merely the capacity to be attentive to others, to wish the best for them, or to show that we care. Compassion is a strong determination coming from the heart to do whatever is necessary and possible to alleviate the suffering of others, to sense what will truly serve them, and to understand their needs and pain. Compassion is a deep-seeded kindness towards all there is; essentially it is being filled with boundless love.
But it may not always come easy to feel compassion, especially when there is so much suffering, saddening turmoil and violence in the world. When we feel overwhelmed with personal challenges and struggles in our own lives, we may not feel “enough love” and strength to help others. But these are the times when we need to be filled with compassion more than ever. Based on the wisdom of Buddhist practices and some energy healing techniques, there are ways to help unblock the heart and awaken love and compassion.
Evoke loving kindness
Go back to a time in your mind when you felt truly, deeply loved by someone. Recreate that moment, remember the particular instance and how you felt. Let that feeling arise again, let love fill you and infuse you with gratitude towards that person. Let the love flow from your heart to that person. Let the love become more and more boundless and extend it to all beings. Begin with those close to you, then to friends, neighbors, co-workers, to strangers, then to those you don’t even like, and finally to the universe.
See yourself the same as others
When you consider others just the same as yourself, it helps you understand them more clearly, giving your relationships a richer meaning. Thinking of a person as “another you” will allow you to open your heart to them and give you insight into how you may be of help to them.
Exchange yourself for others
When you encounter someone going through pain and suffering, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine as vividly as possible what you would experience if you were suffering the same pain. Ask yourself: “How would I feel? How would I want others to treat me?” When you exchange yourself for others, you turn your attention and love away from yourself and direct it to the other person: you experience selflessness and compassion.
Direct your compassion
Go deep in your heart and meditate. Evoke your compassion, focus on it, enhance, and deepen it. Now direct it to all beings. Let you heart go out to all living creatures, everywhere, in immeasurable love and compassion. Pray that you bring happiness to all of those you meet, help them end their suffering and transform their lives.
Embrace the primal instinct to protect and nurture
Have you ever noticed that when you watch or hold puppies, kittens, and babies, you naturally begin to smile and your heart fills with genuine, nurturing love and a natural instinct to protect? Whenever you find it hard to evoke compassion, remember this deep, unconditional, and primal feeling of love. When you feel compassion emerging, embrace it and extend it to all beings.
When you take the time to step outside of your busy life and go out into nature, you may find that the calming beauty surrounding you will not only relax you, but also fill your heart with love, compassion, and a sense of oneness with all creatures. You may see how animals take care of each other and show affection, concern, and loyalty. Let this experience fill your heart and your whole being.
Unblock the heart chakra
Often an unhealthy, blocked Heart Chakra could be responsible for the lack of love, peace, and compassion in one’s life. Clearing and balancing the Heart Chakra could return the flow of energy in this area, restoring unconditional love and bringing forth compassion. Many therapies and tools can be used to return and maintain balance in this chakra. Some of these practices include: Meditation, Color Therapy, Sound Therapy, Crystal Therapy, Aromatherapy, Yoga, and Energywork/Reiki.
Use the energies of crystals
Many crystals are believed to help awaken compassion. Some of these are: Aventurine, Angelite, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Garnet, Kyanite, Lapis Lazuli, Moldavite, Obsidian, Rose Quartz, Petalite, Rhodochrosite, Serpentine, and Tourmaline. You may carry, meditate or sleep with the crystal(s) you are drawn to. Be open and receptive to the gentle yet powerful energies of the crystals. Let them guide you and inspire the rise of compassion in your heart.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION:
Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle; The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rimpoche; The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall