What is Compassion Meditation & 6 Easy Steps To Practice NOW!

What is Compassion Meditation & 6 Easy Steps To Practice NOW!

Dalai Lama once said “If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries”.

Did you notice, If you carefully read the above lines you will have the answer to a ‘universal question’ which you, me and the entire mankind have been searching for years. Can you guess the universal question I am referring here? Well, try answering it today?

What do you want in life?

Money… Health…Job…Cars…Home…Vacations etc.

All these are desires, deep down every human being is seeking for one thing in life and that is “Happiness”. Do you agree with me? Yes or No?

So if you want happiness NOW, then you must learn how to practice compassion towards self and others. It is not that complex, I will share the steps for you in this post. Just practice it on a daily basis and your happiness index will only rise. There is one important thing you should know before you start practicing compassion on others – It is compassion towards yourself. If you don’t love yourself then how can you give love to others.

So in order to understand compassion meditation, it is important for you to understand and practice self-compassion. If you skip this step of self-compassion then the whole exercise of compassion meditation will most likely turn out to be a shallow experience. So let’s take the first step.

How is Your Relationship With YOU

Relationship With YOU

How long have you been on this life journey, 20 years…30 years…50 years? I am sure you are aware about your inner voice that has accompanied you and has been constantly chatting with you throughout the journey – Right?

How is the relationship going on for both of you? Is it angry, frustrated, happy, sad etc? Be honest – Are you happy with this relationship? Let me tell you why it is important for you to know and accept this relationship. I will give you my personal example.

As a child I never topped in my class, so since the very beginning I got a tag “He is an average student”. I remember during the parents meet my teacher used to tell my mom your kid’s performance is average in all the semesters. Even during my college days, I was the same average performer. If you ask me personally I was not liking my “Average Tag” and due to which I used to maintain a distance with top performers.

As I entered the corporate world there also my immediate manager used to pass remarks saying ‘You are not smart’ or ‘You are not good enough’. I used to get very angry and upset with myself and sometimes used to question myself – Why cannot I be the best? Why did God make me an average person (I didn’t even spare God).

Are you able to relate to what I am saying? Do you have similar childhood experiences due to which you are not happy with yourself?

My equation with myself has not been that rosy, it is only after I delved myself into personal growth I realized my mistake. I will come back to my story in some time. At this point I want to introduce you to self-compassion.

What is Self-Compassion?What is Self-Compassion

In simple words self-compassion means being kind, gentle and supportive towards oneself. It is unconditional acceptance of oneself, knowing that you are not perfect and with an understanding that there is potential to learn and get better in the areas of life where you are not good or average.

Self-compassion is not hiding one’s shortcomings and having a positive self-image. This is exactly what I used to do a lot of time. I used hide behind or neglect my weakness and used to conduct as if everything is good. However, things changed for me when I had the knowledge of what is true self-compassion, I remember telling myself “It is fine, I accept I am average that said I am working continuously on myself and I am only getting better every day” As I repeated these lines several times I felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was finally ‘at peace’ with myself.

It was then I realized the true meaning of self-compassion. It is being kind to ourselves not only in good times but also in bad times, in good health and sickness and most importantly even when we commit mistakes. If you are still with me reading this far and I have understood the section on self-compassion, then let me tell you, today you have successfully sown a seed for your transformation. This is especially true if you do not have a good rapport with your inner self. I shall now state some steps, you can take on a daily basis to blossom your relationship with inner self.

To learn how to set up a daily meditation practice effortlessly, I highly recommend you check out >>>Master Your Mind Beginner’s Meditation Course

 

5 Steps To Practice Self-Compassion

Practice these five steps to have more awareness and nurture the relationship you have with yourself.

1. Counsel yourself, as if you are speaking to your best friend

Counsel Yourself

Have you counseled / consoled your friend when he / she is going through a rough patch in their life? How do you counsel him or her? I remember when one of my close friends was finding it difficult to get a job, I had told her “to be patient, to believe in herself and also told that this phase shall also pass, you need to be strong and not breakdown under pressure“.

Can you use a similar language, when you are going through a tough time or feeling low. The point that you need to understand over here is if the situation or circumstances in your life are not favorable that does not mean you are incapable or not good enough. You should rather appreciate yourself that every day you are doing your bit to overcome the situation instead of bemoaning or indulging in self-criticism.

2. Practice Mindfulness – For 2 minutes, every 2 hours of the day

Mindfulness is a practice of observing your thoughts without any judgment and in complete acceptance. I do this practice and have found it to be very effective. It is simply taking a 2-minute break every 2 hours during the day and checking what’s going on in the mind. Asking yourself, what are you thinking? Again here if you notice that you are ruminating on the past or worrying or thinking negatively over a situation, don’t get upset – Just accept them, or label these thoughts as ‘Worrying’ or ‘Negative’, As you do this exercise often, you will start realizing that ‘your thoughts’ and ‘you’ are two separate things.

3. Practice Forgiveness

Practice Forgiveness

As human beings we all make mistakes and in some sense we all are imperfect. If you make a mistake you have two options, the first option is to brood over it and struggle with it. The second option is to acknowledge it out loud what you have learned from the mistake and move forward. It is often easier said than done, but let me tell you if you keep punishing yourself for your mistake, there will be little or no progress. So remind yourself these mistakes or failures do not define me. Instead, learn from your mistake, be gentle, kind to yourself and keep moving forward.

4. Practice Gratitude

I am sure you have heard about practicing gratitude a million times, the key is are you practicing it on a daily basis. Instead of thinking about something that makes you unhappy, why not think about something which makes you happy. By doing this you shift your focus from shortcomings to your strengths. I have noticed my relationship with self has improved with daily practice of gratitude.

5. Notice the harsh self-critical voices

The next time you notice these harsh voices, catch them re-phrase them with a self-compassionate one. If you wish and have the time I would also suggest an exercise, wherein you on one side of a paper write down everything that the inner critic has to say and on the other side write down a kinder version. Keep this paper in your wallet or bag and refer the statements under the kinder version whenever you feel overwhelmed by these self-critical voices.

You are now aware of self-compassion and the steps to practice it for yourself. Now we shall extend the compassion to others. I shall now share with you steps involved in practicing compassion meditation.

To experience the ultimate feelings of inner calm and presence, I highly recommend that you check out >>> 7 Minute Mindfulness

Compassion Meditation

Have you come across this statement – “I feel for you” Has anyone told you or Have you told this to anyone? Yes or No?

This statement captures the essence of compassion. In very simple words compassion means a concern / understanding for others’ sufferings and a desire to reduce the pain. Compassion encompasses love, understanding and a strong desire for betterment.

Compassion meditation is also called as Karuna Meditation and is deeply rooted in Buddhist philosophy. It is a method / technique, wherein the premise is that life involves unavoidable sufferings, we must learn to embrace them and be kind towards them. It is only when we have allowed / accepted our sufferings we discover the power of healing and strength, which is inherent in all of us, that helps us become better.

Few things to keep in mind before I share the steps for Compassion Meditation. In this meditation practice, you will begin with thoughts of kindness, love and acceptance towards self and then extend it to others. Remember, why we begin with self first because we cannot be truly loving and compassionate to others, unless we are loving and compassionate to ourselves.

6 Steps To Practice Compassion Meditation

1. Find a comfortable place & simply breathe for few minutes:

As we begin this practice, find a quiet place. Make sure all the electronic gadgets are switched off or on airplane mode. Sit comfortably, you can even sit on a chair upright or sit cross-legged on a cushion. Make sure your back is straight and relaxed. Close your eyes and simply breathe for few minutes. Feel the air going in and out, feel the sensations in your body. Just settle down and completely relax yourself.

2. Compassion – For Self

As your mind becomes calm and body is relaxed, you can recite the following mantra in your mind.

  • May I be safe.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free from suffering.
  • May I be filled with loving-kindness.

Magical Hug

As you chant these words see yourself happy and safe. Visualize yourself free from suffering and filled with love. It is important that you ‘feel’ it deep inside. If you want to evoke stronger emotions of happiness and safety then here is a visualization exercise: As you recite this mantra see yourself in the arms of the supreme or divine force or your parents, imagine as if it is a ‘Magical Hug’. Realize that you deserve like anyone else the love, peace and happiness, you can smile to accentuate the feelings. After few minutes whenever you are ready, move on to the next step.

3. Compassion – For Loved Ones

Now that you are filled with love, you can extend this to your loved one. Start with the person whom you love the most or is the closest to you. It can be your parents, spouse or kid. Imagine that person in your mind and recite the below mantra for him / her.

  • May you be safe.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.
  • May you be filled with loving-kindness.

As you chant these words see your loved one safe, happy, peaceful and filled with love. Here again you can do a visualization exercise to genuinely feel the emotions. This time you can see yourself giving them a ‘Magical Hug’ and as you hug them feel the energy of love, happiness and peace transmitting to them. You can do this exercise for every person who is near and dear to you. After few minutes whenever you are ready, move on to the next step.

4. Compassion – For Neutral People

Think of someone whom you do not know very well. It can be your driver, watchman or a co-workers. Imagine that person in your mind and recite the below mantra for him / her.

  • May you be safe.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.
  • May you be filled with loving-kindness.

As you chant these words see that person happy and safe. Here again you can do a visualization exercise to evoke the feelings of love and compassion. You may feel slightly odd to hug this person, so instead of a hug give him / her a ‘magical handshake with a pat on his / her back’. After few minutes whenever you are ready, move on to the next step.

5. Compassion – For The Person You Dislike The Most

Couple Not Talking

This can be quite challenging as the moment we think of someone whom we do not like, it is only abuses which come in our mind. This will need practice. I will tell you a visualization exercise which I follow when it comes to such people in life. I see this person on a cloud in the sky. As I chant the below words, I visualize the person with the cloud moving away from my sight and finally getting disappeared in the vast sky.

  • May you be safe.
  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.
  • May you be filled with loving-kindness.

So you can chant these words and tell this person a final goodbye. After few minutes whenever you are ready, move on to the final step.

6. Compassion – For Planet Earth

This is the final step, think of the whole planet, all the living beings include animals, trees, people from across the planet earth.

  • May all be safe.
  • May all be happy.
  • May all be peaceful.
  • May all be free from suffering.
  • May all be filled with loving-kindness.

Planet Earth

Follow this visualization exercise to invoke the feelings of love, peace and happiness to the entire planet. In you mind’s eye see the earth spinning around its axis. See yourself connected to planet earth with a white cord which is connected to your heart. As you breathe out imagine the love, warmth and peace flowing through the cord and engulfing the planet in a white light. Imagine this white light is radiating peace, love and happiness on each being on this planet. See how we are all connected. Hold this vision, see it, feel it and make it real. Simply sit for a while, take a deep refreshing breath and open your eyes. This entire meditation practice would take around 15 – 20 minutes.

If you are still with me, here’s sending you a warm magical hug from my end and wishing you peace, happiness and loads of love. Give compassion meditation a try and incorporate it as a part of your daily routine. Let me know your experience or further questions in the comments.

To learn how to set up a daily meditation practice effortlessly, I highly recommend you check out >>>Master Your Mind Beginner’s Meditation Course

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Vivienne

    Hi Satish,

    Great post! I feel more people should read this and practice compassion. Your tips are a terrific source to begin practice!

    The mantra’s are short and sweet but speak much more meaning. Each section is in this article is helpful, I’ll be sure to pass it along to those I feel could need it!

    1. Satish

      Hi Vivienne,

      I am happy you found this post useful, wishing you all the best with your meditation practice ~ Stay Blessed 🙂

  2. Ivan

    Hi Satish,

    Thanks for sharing this thoughtful article. I practice meditation for a few years now, but I have never heard of compassion meditation. It seems like a great practice that I’ll try most definitely. Thanks for the instructions. Lastly, I like your site a lot. Keep up the good work.

    1. Satish

      Hi Ivan,

      I am glad you came across something new today, I wish you all the best with your compassion meditation practice ~ Stay Blessed 🙂

  3. Manne

    Hi Satish,

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information! It helps a lot. There so much we don’t know, Compassion Meditation is so strong tool to use.

    1. Satish

      Hi Manne,

      Yes indeed Compassion Meditation is fantastic practice to improve our relationship with oneself. You can use this practice for the betterment and well-being of others as well ~ Stay Blessed 🙂

  4. Ryzehn

    Hi Satish,

    While I was reading this, it got me thinking about where my level of compassion for others and self love is.. I have come to the conclusion that I’ve lost my way and need to practice this again as I remember a time when I did this, I was much happier with life and more tolerant, accepting and non judgmental I was. Guess something happened and now I’m not as at peace with everything as I once was.

    Thanks for this article, I’m bookmarking it and will be referring to it every now and then as I try to restore my sense of compassion and self love again. This really helped.

    1. Satish

      Hi Ryzehn,

      Thanks for sharing your experience, I happy that this post rekindled your spirits to start your meditation practice. Wishing you all the best with your meditation practice ~ Stay Blessed 🙂

  5. Ashraf Abdelhamid

    Hello Satish,

    You have plenty of information here that many individuals can make use out of. I never understood ‘compassion meditation’, but I do now. I never really use meditation, but I may consider it now.

    1. Satish

      Hi Ashraf,

      I am happy to know that you understood Compassion Meditation, I encourage you to practice it regularly & wish you success ~ Stay Blessed 🙂

  6. Minaher

    Hi Satish,

    In my mind I was already approving while reading the sentence “…self-compassion means being kind, gentle and supportive towards-ONESELF” Oneself???? Towards others, yes, but towards myself? I need to be demanding on myself, to be the best I can, to help whoever I can with whatever I can-for that I need to be at my best-always. And if I’m not, how can I be there for others???

    It struck me that I read SELF-compassion, however it did not arrive to my mind. Only because my mind is wired to be compassionate with others, not with myself. Then I went on reading and realized, even with all the very precise instructions you gave, it will be quite a job to achieve what you are talking about here. I also realized, I could be so much more “in peace with myself” than I’m right now. Thank you for this wonderful post and thank you for the warm magical hug. I almost could feel it.

    1. Satish

      Hi Minaher,

      If you practice compassion meditation for others without being self-compassionate then your practice will not be as effective as you want it to be. If you don’t love and accept yourselves, then how can you give love and accept others.

      Hence, while practicing, start with self love first, then the rest of the world. I am happy you realized this as you read the post, wishing you all the very best with your practice ~ Stay Blessed 🙂

  7. Regina

    Hi Satish,

    This is a very soothing and uplifting article to read. Being able to love ones self and others makes for a happy and peaceful person who’s never short on compassion.

    Thanks for giving detailed instruction and explaining it beautifully, I shall try this.

    Thanks

    1. Satish

      Hi Regina,

      I am glad you found this post useful, thanks for your comment ~ Wishing you all the best with your compassion meditation practice 🙂

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