Day 5: Pema Chödrön – Compassion begins with us

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Day 5: Compassion begins with us(Pema Chödrön)

Music Credit: “Calm mind” from the album Journey through the Matrix by David Gibson and Harry Massey

We all fall short sometimes

How often do we wish that others would change, evolve or grow up to meet our needs? While we want to give people a break, sometimes it seems that no one is trying as hard as we are. So when we are tempted to disown, judge or criticize others it is helpful to remember that we, too, have at times been lazy, wrong, or in error. And this opens our eyes of compassion to see our shared humanity.

Before we can expect someone else to step up and be there for us, we are called to look into our own hearts and minds to see where we can make a shift toward kindness and compassion. Everyone deserves a break. And when we shift our energy from the heart, a new vibe of safety can inspire others to become their best self.

In the words of Pema Chödrön,
“Compassion for others begins with us.”

Research shows that when we feel compassion, our heart rate slows down, we secrete the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, and regions of the brain linked to empathycaregiving, and feelings of pleasure light up, which often results in our wanting to approach and care for other people.

“Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.” ~ Pema Chödrön



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. I will sound a bell when the meditation period is over.

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,

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