“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
Sometimes I can be very judgmental. I often try to balance that with being overly critical of myself and my actions. So as I criticize others, I seek to look to myself for any display of the object of criticism in my own life.
In both instances I feel that I could use a healthy dose of compassion 🙂
In Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion edited by Lauren Berlant one can derive that “We all experience suffering and pain in our lives therefore we can relate to others experiencing suffering. Compassion is acknowledging suffering and engaging in helping without judgment.”
Why develop compassion in your life? Well, there are scientific studies that suggest there are physical benefits to practicing compassion — people who practice it produce 100 percent more DHEA, which is a hormone that counteracts the aging process, and 23 percent less cortisol — the “stress hormone.”
The main benefit is that it helps you to be more happy, and brings others around you to be more happy.
How can we practice more of this happiness promising action?
You can start each new day with a morning ritual. Try this suggested by the Dalai Lama:
“Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
Then try “The Compassion Exercise” by Harry Palmer
Objective: To increase the amount of compassion in the world
Expected Results: A personal sense of peace and ultimately happiness 🙂
Instructions: This exercise can be done anywhere people congregate (malls, parks, roadways etc.) It should be done on strangers, unobstruvisely from some distance. Try to do all five steps on the same person.
With attention on the person repeat to yourself:
- “Just like me, you are seeking some happiness for your life.”
- “Just like me, you are trying to avoid suffering in your life.”
- “Just like me, you have known sadness, loneliness, and despair.”
- Just like me, you are seeking to fulfill your needs.”
- Just like me, you are learning about life.”
Remember the “Karate Kid wax on, wax off” principle. Rome was not built in a day.
Practice these two exercises – integrating compassion into your daily life. Develop the routine. Let the habit be strong and unbreakable.
If you are already practicing compassion regularly, would love to hear your ideas and comments…