The Dictionary defines meaning of compassion as: “ a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others and a wish to help them”. This seems to be a very logical although not inaccurate definition. Let me deal with the underlying reality about Compassion.
Compassion is a state of being – an internal mindset or mental stance or an underlying intention or paradigm and not an action or a doing or a thinking. The underlying intention is a wish for freedom from suffering. This wish for freedom from suffering may be addressed to oneself or to others close to you or to a group of people defined by country or belief sets or entire humanity or even to all sentient beings. It does not matter to whom it is addressed, what matters is the holding of this wish from a state of higher awareness, a state of being.
It is not easy to understand Compassion from a logical or rational point of view because it is not a concept, although it has been conceptualised. The better approach would be to learn and practice Compassion and experience it from a witnessing state of being. Once we experience compassion from this level, it would become easier to understand it from the conceptualised standpoint as well.
The practice of Compassion begins with first stepping out of the thinking mind by awakening your inner body awareness, this can be done with some simple body movements. Once your inner body awareness is awakened, it would be easier to expand that awareness wider to touch your deeper state of awareness or consciousness or mindfulness.
This is a sense of spaciousness or expansiveness you feel within you and from here you are able to witness simultaneously all of your bodily
sensations, your emotional feelings and your thoughts without having to engage with any of those. You can also call this your higher mind or your presence or just a state of being.
Now express your wish for freedom from suffering from this state of being. It is easier to begin with one person who is close to you, who is deeply suffering and you may imagine this person present before you and address your wish as a blessing or prayer to this person – “May you enjoy freedom from suffering, all the time”. You can then visualise to create a circle of compassion around you, consisting of all the people in your life. “ May all the people within my circle of compassion, including me, enjoy
freedom from suffering all the time”.
When you do this as a practice, you will be able to sense an opening up within you. You body is relaxing, you breath is becoming deeper and more rhythmic, even your thinking mind starts becoming quieter. This is the actual experience of the energy of Compassion beginning to Blow out of your heart. Once this flow begins, it would be easier for you to expand the circle of compassion to even encompass the entire planet earth with all of humanity living on it. You can allow this energy of compassion to fill up
every cell in your body and permeate into the space between your cells and overflow and fill the entire space around and further spill out and fill the entire day ahead of you.
This energy of Compassion is a deeply healing energy, which helps sustain holistic wellbeing within you irrespective of external conditions.
When you come out of this practice retaining the wish for freedom from suffering in the background of your mind, all actions that flow out of you in the form of thoughts, words and deeds would emerge from a place of compassion.
These are simple acts in the moment and need not be measured by their impact on the larger world outside. That would become a logical analysis of the concept of compassion, which can be done for other reasons but will not help in sustaining the energy of Compassion within you.
When you start engaging with the world you need to go back to operating from your thinking mind and doing state. It becomes easy to slip out of the actual energy of compassion and into the concept of compassion and be deluded. The best way to know this is what is happening is to check with your body, when the body shows signs of stress and unease it is time to go back to your being state and reactivate the energy of Compassion. It takes a long and sustained practice to cultivate a default state of Compassion in the background of your mind that remains active all through the day.
PfP SelvanS Daily Online Guided Meditation helps you foster your new habit of being Compassionate all the time to experience and enjoy a wholesome life.