Dear friends, it’s the gospel truth that compassion is the greatest force in this universe.
The reason why we seek money, power, domination, reputation, approval, and other things is to gain happiness, peace, health, joy, and wisdom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, because the only thing that can bring us those things is compassion.
Buddha said, “When a person develops a mindset that allows them to feel and show compassion, they gain eleven things in return,” I’ve given these eleven things below in a simplified form, so everyone can understand:
- You easily and happily drift off to sleep at night.
- You wake up easily in the morning and feel happy.
- You have peaceful dreams free from nightmares while you sleep.
- You are loved by the people around you.
- You are loved by the sacred beings.
- These sacred beings also protect you.
- You are protected from the dangers of the outside world.
- Your face appears peaceful and beautiful.
- Your mind is calm and clear.
- You don’t feel confusion when it’s time to pass on.
- You pass onto the heavenly dimensions after your death.
I hope the following meditation will help you attain these eleven benefits of compassion, so you can spread them to those around you.
Meditation of Compassion (Short version)
Sit either on a comfortable chair or on the ground with your legs crossed and your back straight. Close your eyes.
To bring your mind into your current place and time, listen to the sounds of your surroundings. Feel your body, the clothes you’re wearing, and the rug or chair you’re sitting on.
Once your mind begins to calm down, take notice of your breath. Notice the coolness that the incoming air creates in your nostrils and the warm feeling when you exhale. Observe your body as it breathes. Don’t interfere with the natural rhythm of your breath but rather let your body act on its own.
Once your mind is calm enough, direct your focus to your rib cage. Notice the inside of your chest and your beating heart. Allow a genuine smile to show on your face. Smile for your heart, as if it were an old and very close friend. Notice the tension inside your chest and on your heart as you slowly drift away with this smile.
Now, visualize your heart. Imagine a rose bud in the middle of it, a ruby rose bud with velvet petals and warm energy. Feel this rose bud blossom slowly with the impact of your smile. When it blossoms with its ruby color, velvet petals, and warm energy, it turns into the most beautiful rose in the whole world. Imagine a golden light radiating from its center. This light grows stronger and surrounds you according to the power of your smile. This is the light of compassion.
At this stage, imagine something that will easily spark your compassion. As an example, imagine a starving African baby boy. See the hunger and weakness on the baby’s innocent face. Imagine the flies crawling over his face. Look at his weak, emaciated body. Notice the absence of his mother, who might well be already dead. Gently cradle this lonely, fragile baby in your arms. Support his head, which drops into your palm like that of a wounded bird. Embrace this baby as if you want to nourish him from your own vital force. Whisper to him, “Don’t be scared. You’re not alone anymore. You won’t starve anymore. There’s no need to be scared anymore.”
Hold the small baby in your arms and cultivate your determination to help him with all your might. You won’t let him die or suffer. You won’t let him fall into despair. Feel the profound compassion blooming in your heart. See the relief, hope, and peace spread over the baby’s face. Now, place him where he belongs, in the depths of your heart. See how the golden light in the middle of the rose engulfs him. The light shines even brighter now. Feel the vibrations in your heart and in your chest. At this stage, focus on these vibrations and feelings of compassion in your chest. Stay like this for as long as you feel the vibrations. You can summon back the image of the baby in your heart whenever the vibrations and feelings of compassion start to subside.
At the next stage, you should direct the compassion in your heart toward someone you love, so picture a loved one. It could be your child, spouse, mother, or maybe a friend who’s been suffering. Notice the suffering or sadness of this person. See the pain, sadness, and/or confusion on this person’s face. Think about how much you love this person and how you want to do everything in your power to take away the pain. Notice how this pain can only be eliminated by compassion. Tell this person that you’ll always be there for them, that you’ll never leave, and that you’ll do anything to make them happy again. Feel the golden light radiate from your heart to theirs, filling them with compassion and courage. Smile from the bottom of your heart. See their pain melt away and disappear with the help of the golden light of compassion that flows from your heart to theirs. See the peace, happiness, and joy spread slowly over their face. Now, embrace your friend and place this person where he or she belongs, in the depths of your heart. Notice the golden light shining even more brightly. Focus on the vibrations and feelings of compassion in your chest at this stage. Stay at this stage for as long as you continue to feel the vibrations. You can always reimagine this beloved person when the vibrations start to subside.
The next stage involves imagining a person you’re in conflict with. Picture this person’s face and the pain. Next, imagine this foe as a baby, a fragile, innocent baby cradled in a mother’s arms… See how this foe’s mother covers her sleeping baby to keep it warm. See how she sacrifices herself to protect her child. Now, imagine the blows that this innocent child receives later in life. Understand how this child suffers from things beyond his or her power. Observe how this previously innocent, cute face becomes hardened with fear, anger, and pain. Feel the suffering deep in your heart.
Say to this person, “Dear foe, whatever you did to me, revenge will not make it better, so I wish you well. I truly hope you’ll be freed from your suffering. What happened is in the past, and we cannot change it. We can never take it back. I know we would have treated each other differently under different circumstances. I forgive you for everything you’ve done to me. Forgive me for all the harm I’ve done to you.”
Now notice the relief and peace on your foe’s face. Feel the compassion in your heart for all the suffering. Begin to understand that you don’t want this person to suffer, or anyone else for that matter. You want everyone to be happy. Wish this person peace and happiness as you look at his or her smiling, peaceful face once again. Send the compassion radiating from your heart into this person’s heart, so it starts a warm fire of compassion there as well. See the golden light now radiating from your former foe’s heart. Embrace this former enemy and give this person a place in the depths of your heart. Notice how the golden light in your heart now shines even more brightly. Feel the vibrations in your heart and in your chest. Focus on these vibrations and feelings of compassion at this stage. Stay at this stage for as long as you feel the vibrations.
Now comes the hardest part of this exercise: ourselves. Imagine yourself and feel the suffering and pain in your heart. Remember your resentment, sorrows, wrongs others have done to you, and the blows you’ve received in life. Wish the best of everything for yourself. You’ll notice that the doors of your heart have been closed to yourself for a long time, so let them open wide. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, the sins you’ve committed—just present your unconditional love and compassion to yourself. Forgive yourself unconditionally. Call yourself back home to your heart. Embrace this fragile, confused, tormented being you call “me” and envelop it with your compassion. Accept that you deserve the best of everything. See the golden light radiate out from the center of the rose in your heart. Let the compassion you feel engulf you and expand outwards to the universe. There’s not one corner of the universe, not one ounce of pain, this golden light cannot touch. Notice the pain, anger, and sadness melt away like snowflakes before the flame of compassion. Focus on the vibrations and feelings of compassion in your chest at this stage. Stay at this stage for as long as you feel the vibrations.
Before finishing your meditation, wish for yourself enough happiness, compassion, peace, safety, and understanding to comprehend the truth of every tormented being in all the dimensions of existence.
Open your eyes slowly once your meditation is over.