For Myself and Others

We adapt this compassion practice to different scenarios by changing who the practice is for. Sometimes we even change the practitioner, like with the compassion-animal practice. What remains constant are the verbs. In this base practice, take special note of the verb for each line:

I practice compassion

With compassion, I free myself and others from suffering
With compassion, I help myself and others find peace and feel safe in this world
With compassion, I create contentment in this life
With compassion, I inspire myself and others to flourish

With patience and good humour, I welcome people’s imperfections, and with patience and good humour, I welcome my own imperfections
With sympathy, I feel for those who suffer, myself included
With empathy, I mind what others are feeling and try to understand why, and I mind what I’m feeling and try to understand why

I seek wisdom
I nurture a broad perspective
I foster gratefulness
And I acknowledge that suffering and difficulties are part of life

Long ago the practice contained a much smaller range of verbs, but I saw this and decided to select a unique verb for each line. Now, by design, the practice helps us remember the full range of skills and actions that the mission of compassion entails.

Photo by Shiyu Zhang

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