You would have heard the story of The Good Samaritan, haven’t you? This parable, narrated by Jesus to his disciples, is the perfect example of what compassion is. While the Priest and Levite walk away despite noticing the brutally wounded traveler lying amidst the pool of blood, the Samaritan stops by and tends to the needs of this man. Jesus defines this as the way you should love your neighbor. But if you really ponder over the act, you could see that it is filled with rich and genuine compassion, and nothing less.
From helping a wounded stray animal to rushing a person who has been the victim of an accident, the degree and nature of compassion varies. While many of us have experienced this naturally, studies have revealed that people who indulge in meditation are more compassionate than the non-meditating group. Concentrating and focusing on your inner self does more good to your physical and mental state; also your spiritual side gets a boost, making you a better do-good person.
Being popularized as the Compassion Meditation, it is a fabulous technique that allows you to clear out all those negative feelings that have crammed up in your mind, helping you to open up yourself to the world. This looks quite simple indeed; yet the fact remains that if you are not innately compassionate, then you might end up spending quite a few weeks to get hold of this method. The basic rule while practicing this meditation technique is to be natural. Be yourself; never force yourself to be someone or to do something that is not true.
Let us learn how to meditate, and how to generate and enhance your compassion levels for being a better societal being.
The Right Way Of Doing Compassion Meditation:
Here are a few steps to guide you through the right way of practicing meditation to invoke the feelings lying deep within you:
1. Make Yourself Comfortable In A Position Of Your Choice
Sit down, preferably on a mat, in a position in which you are entirely comfortable. You can even sit on a chair; just make sure that your spine is erect, but in a non-strained fashion. Yoga asanas such as Sukhasana, Padmasana, and Vajrasana are ideal for indulging in this meditation.
You can even lie down [provided you don’t fall asleep] in Shavasana.
2. Breathe right
Yes, you need to breathe. Feel the way the air gushes inward, filling your body, mind, and spirit.
3. Allow Yourself To Relax
No stress; no anxieties; no thoughts. Just relax. Allow your mind to wander away from all those thoughts that otherwise could impact your meditation negatively. Breathe deeply and let your body relax and settle down.
4. Close Your Eyes
Closing your eyes helps you stay away from visual distractions. If you are already meditating, you might be able to do this with partially closed eyes too.
5. Focus Your Thoughts
Once your mind is empty, you can start focusing. Think about a person who has been your source of inspiration. It could be anyone – your mom, dad, hubby, kids, or even your trainer. Try to focus on a person, especially if he or she needs help in any form. Visualize the person and feel his/her presence.
6. Offer Compassion For A Known Person
Once you feel the person’s presence, you can gently and silently offer compassion phrases to him/her. You could say the following words – “Let your pains – physical, mental, and spiritual – vanish away. Let your life be filled with joy, compassion, wellness, happiness, and satisfaction”. You can personalize the words as per your needs.
7. Show Self-Compassion
This is a quintessential step in this meditation. If you need to be compassionate towards others, you must first develop and boost self-compassion. Bless yourself. “Let me be free of pains of all forms. Let me be filled with pure happiness, satisfaction, goodness, wellness, and joy always.”
8. Offer Compassion For An Unknown Person
It is now time to show compassion for someone you do not know, but could feel needs compassion. It could be anyone – your milkman, the guy at the departmental store, or even a person who is working out with you at your fitness center. Just feel his presence and share words of compassion as mentioned above.
9. Wind Up The Meditation With Offering Compassion To The World
Once you are done with the offering of compassion to an unknown person, it is now time to complete your meditation session. The last step involves offering compassion to everyone and everything in this world, in an unlimited form. You can use the following words or just phrase something that fits you better. “Let the world be free from all kinds of pain. Let everyone and everything in this world be happy, satisfied, well, and compassionate”.
Start compassion meditation for 15 minutes a day, increasing the duration over time, till the feeling automatically sets in. Just let your mind travel as it wants; do not restrict its wandering. Just focus on what has come to your attention, be free, and offer the phrases. Doing this over a period of time shall naturally leave you compassionate.
Be compassionate throughout the day; initially it will be difficult. Slowly, over a period of time, you will start feeling compassionate, naturally.
Start meditating right away and boost your compassion levels. If you are already meditating, you will find this easier and more interesting too.
Have you ever tried compassion meditation? Has it changed you and your life? Share your experiences with us right below.