A Guide to Practical Compassion
By Leo Babauta
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The Practical Steps
So compiling all of the above into some practical steps, here’s how to do compassion:
Be aware of your own suffering. Be willing to face, and accept, the suffering you do on a daily basis. This includes stress, doubt, fear, anger, frustration, disappointment. Watch it happen, and be OK with the sensation. Don’t run from it.
Ease your own suffering. Learn the cause of your suffering. The cause is the ideal you’re holding onto in your mind — how other people should act, how your life should be, how you should be better, how things will turn out, how people will think of you, etc. Let go of this ideal, and you’ll suffer less.
See the suffering of others. Pay attention to the other people in your life, strangers you pass. Notice the signs of their pain, empathize with this pain, understand them because you’ve experienced it too.
Reach out to them, and connect. Ease your own suffering (that comes from seeing their suffering) by reaching out and making a connection. Smile, be open to who they are, let go of your expectations of that person, and just connect.
Share your suffering, and your method. Share ways that you’ve suffered that the other person might relate to, and this in itself will be helpful, because then you share suffering. Then share how you solved it, and that method can then be useful to the other person, if they decide to try it (it’s their choice). Don’t be preachy, just share what worked.
Learn from the methods of others. Just as you share with others your method of easing your suffering, there’s much to be learned from others. If others have solved a problem that’s causing you some suffering, learn how they did it. By sharing with and learning from each other, we can all get better at our methods of compassion.
This is a simple method that I share with you, but it works wonderfully for me. I hope it helps.
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This is a great boon. And, I’m going to try this advice.
Reminds me of an article over on the Lord Acton site about “Effective Charity”.
Have to find that again!
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