Thursday, June 18, 2015

Compassion Meditation for an Enemy

No matter how much we try,  there are always people who will test our ability to express love and compassion toward them.  They can be people involved in our personal lives, or they can people of a much different culture, faith, or lifestyle. They can be people we see on nightly news who offend our personal standards.  How do we put compassion into action in these circumstances?

The Greater Good in Action has a meditation for that!

From the webpage, "Compassion Meditation:"

Compassion for an Enemy

Now visualize someone with whom you have difficulty in your life. This may be a parent or child with whom you disagree, an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, a roommate with whom you had an argument, or a co-worker with whom you do not get along. [5 seconds]

Although you may have negative feelings towards this person, think of how this person has suffered in his or her own life. This person has also had conflicts with loved ones, or has dealt with failures, or may have suffered illness. Think of a situation in which this person may have suffered. [30 seconds]

Notice your heart center. Does it feel different? Do you feel more warmth, openness and tenderness? Are there other sensations, perhaps an aching sensation? How does your heart feel different from when you were envisioning your own or a loved one’s suffering? [10 seconds]

Continue to visualize this person as you breathe. Imagine that you are extending the golden light from your heart to him or her, and that the golden light is easing his or her suffering. Extend this light out to him or her during your exhalation, with the strong heartfelt wish that he or she be free from suffering. See if this wish can be as strong as the wish for your own or a loved one’s suffering to be
relieved. Silently recite to him or her:

May you be free from this suffering.
May you have joy and happiness
May you be free from this suffering.
May you have joy and happiness.
[1 minute]

If you have difficulty in wishing for this person’s suffering to be relieved, you may think of a positive interaction you have had with this person that can help you in wishing them joy and happiness. Perhaps there were times when you got along, laughed together, or worked well together on an assignment. Continue to silently recite:

May you be free from this suffering.
May you have joy and happiness.
[2 minutes]

Again, notice how this feels in your heart. Did the sensations change? Did you feel warmth, openness and tenderness? How were these feelings different from when you were wishing for your own or a loved one’s suffering to end? Were there other sensations, perhaps a tightness in the chest? Did you have a wish to take away this person’s suffering? [30 seconds]

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