Day 14: Self-compassion is a challenge ~ Tara Brach

We must embrace our darkness to shine fully

When we step onto the path toward becoming our best self, we open our eyes, hearts and minds to seeing ourselves deeply, from the inside-out. Beginning or deepening our spiritual journey involves coming face-to-face with the darkest aspects of our personalities.

Embracing the wholeness and breadth of who we really are means we recognize the light and dark parts of our personality and behavior. As a whole being we have the potential for every type of thought and action – both good and bad – and everything in between.

Choosing to live a more conscious, spiritual life usually involves some idealistic picture of positivity or holiness. So seeing into our shadow can bring up feelings of shame, guilt and fear.

Rather than run from these shaky feelings we are invited to sit with them, observe and contemplate them, and eventually watch them fade away as they are replaced with tenderhearted, compassionate acceptance.

If it is difficult to feel compassion for yourself during the meditation sessions while confronting your dark past or unfavorable qualities, you might want to imagine yourself as an innocent child. Then it may be easier to welcome the loving kindness energy of compassion that you deserve.

Awakening self-compassion is often the hardest challenge people face on the spiritual path. ~ Tara Brach



Begin today’s meditation by taking five deep, slow breaths. Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of 6, hold your breath for 2 counts, and exhale slowly to the count of 6. Do this for a total of 5 breaths.

With your hands resting on your lap, or on your heart if you wish, recite the loving kindness phrases and really try to generate the feelings of kindness, friendliness and compassion. Starting with yourself, say:

 May I be free from suffering. May I be peaceful and truly happy. May I be well in body, mind and heart. May I live with ease.

As you feel the warmth coming from your heart, a sincere desire that you not suffer, see if you can extend that feeling to someone you care about. Imagine a dear friend or loved one and repeat the phrases:

May you be free from suffering. May you be peaceful and truly happy. May you be well in body, mind and heart. May you live with ease.

Finally, as you bask in these wonderful feelings of kindness and compassion, extend the wish to all beings on the planet.

Spend a few minutes allowing this wave of loving kindness to swirl around you and radiate out from you. 

Take this feeling of connectedness with you throughout your day. Always remembering that you, too, are worthy of a life free from suffering, full of peace and true happiness.

Please share this 21-day challenge with your friends and loved ones using the hashtags #Compassion #Meditation

May you be free from suffering. May you be peaceful and truly happy. May you be well in body, mind and heart. May you live with ease.

With love,

Dr Andrea art signature